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Question DetailsAsked on 8/5/2013

how to force a contractor to complete construction

General contractor entered into a contract in June 2012 setting November 2012 as completion date for complete gut and addition onto 2-family home. Not surprisingly, the completion date was not met, however, now, in August 2013, we are 14mo into this project. Now, after multiple failures to timely or properly complete various aspects of the job to expectation, the contractor won't send sufficient number of men to finish job. Won't return calls or emails. Short of threatening litigation, how can we create leverage to get contractor to FINISH the job? Last payment of approx. $30K is outstanding, however all other payments have been made. I would like to suggest that complaints about his performance will be sent to Angie's List, Better Business Bureau, etc., but need something with teeth to get his attention. Many many thanks!

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As I am sure you are aware,you have let this guy slip WAY too far - he has you over the barrel and knows it because you have not taken action against him before now. By this many months you should have called his bond and been suing him (or at least having filed suit) if it was not done.

First, I would see if Angie's List will help you with this issue - call Customer Service, they have procedures to kick contractors in the seat of the pants.

Next would talk to an attorney to send a perform or void contract letter also threatening calling the bond and suing. I would also talk to the attorney about having a construction inspector inspect the workk for adequacy - you need to know if you are looking at just very slow work, or substandard performance that needs to be reworked also.

Next step would be to call his bond - put in a formal claim against his bond to get him off the job and get the job done.

Last step would be complaints to BBB, state license bureau, etc - you don't want to do that until he is off the job, otherwise performance will go from negligable to plain bad.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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At this point you're going to have to make the decision to fire him and pursue his bond if he has one. Once you try to force a contractor to do something the quality of the work will be shoddy at best. Consult an attorney very soon. The longer you wait the harder your case will be. Also, many states have relatively short statute of limitations so you may be approaching a deadline to act or be out of luck. Does your city or state have licensing? If so call the department that oversees his license. They may suspend all new permits for him until the matter is resolved or even revoke his license completely. He was a fool to list a completion date but since he did you easily have a case against him regardless of how bad the workmanship may or may not be. Of course a judge could rule the date unreasonable (it happens) so you have to have other evidence of unprofessional conduct to go with it. Rare cases like this make homeowners want completion dates in the contract, not taking into account the date often forces the contractor to cut corners to meet the deadline. Your contractor seems to have no regard for you or the contract so it was basically a useless stipulation. Get an attorney involved now.


Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 5 years ago by Todd's Home Services




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