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Question DetailsAsked on 11/20/2017

A stone fabricator in Houston kept 1/3rd of quartizite slabs he insisted I buy for the job. Doesn't he owe me?

The contractor backed him all the way. I paid fabricator's fees in full up front, then he refused to return the additional slab. He wasn't even going to tell me he loaded it and hauled it to his shop,but another contractor, a friend of mine, saw him load it. After months of playing phone tag, and hearing all his sob stories, he brought a small portion of the slab to my house. It was shards of the original slab. He's building a new home and shop, and obviously he liked my amethyst quartzite. He also botched the job in my kitchen: Of three countertops in one part of the kitchen, he installed the middle one with a slab that was significantly thinner than the other two slabs! He also made sloppy, ham-fisted cuts -- and never even sealed it. He once promised to make things right, but digressed to "if you buy another slab, I'll fix it." The entire debacle is just equal to the limit for small claims court. Shall I sue him and the contractor, or just him? And should it be small claims court?

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1 Answer


You have a couple of choices, but of course you probably realize you should have pursued this in earnest at the time - not months later.

1) Tell the General Contractor (not the sub, because your contract is with the GC) that he either gets you the refund for the piece(s) the contractor took back or you will call his Bond to make good on it. I would NOT take the stone back (if still around in one piece) unless you really want it, because if he charged you for more pie3ces than you needed, the is not right - he should take the extra back and refund you that cost. Actually, the threat should include having the countertop redone right - uniform thickness, proper joints, sealed, etc - but you may have a fight with the bonding company having waited so long, as the contractor can argue implied acceptance - especially if you made final payment, which should not have been done until you were fully satisfied with the work done,

2) More extreme, and again hard to prove this late in the game - tell the GC you are going to report the piece(s) missing as a theft by the sub unless he reimburses you the full cost of them immediately,

3) You can file a complaint with the licensing board against both contractors - does not get you resolution directly, but gets their attention because their license can be suspended or even revoked, so may put enough pressure on them to get action.

4) You can sue, but that is a lot of hassle and having waited so long the judge is not likely to smileon your case - I would go with one of the above first - you can always sue after that if unsuccessful.

And of course, after all is said and done, you can do a Review on the contractors on Angies List.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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