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Question DetailsAsked on 4/22/2015

Angies List Contractor fails to provide services within estimate but no formal contract

Went ahead with a tuck-point project with an Angies List masonry contractor, estimate was provided by email confirming 2 days of labor with 3 workers (one being the owner). No formal contract was signed or presented - did provide half down to get the work started. After 1 day of work, the job is "done" but only half the work has been completed - gaps/void in existing mortar and stones. In discussions now with contractor but real concern on ability to finish job - or will be squeezed for more money to finish. Yes, I know, no signed contract by either party - myself or the contractor, just email exchanges and verbal confirmation on project scope. Since there is no signed contract, interested in my options in getting the work done or opting with not paying the remainder since $650 is a fair amount for the work already completed.

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If he will accept what has been paid up front for what he did, and you agree it is a fair amount, I would get a final paid-in-full invoice for that and walk off to another contractor to do the rest of the job - and file an appropriate Angies List Review.

If he will not do the rest of the job or wants more than the agreed upon money, the lack of a contract hurts your case but the fact areas were not done and he only did half the estimate 2 days of work might help if you threaten to call his Bond. That is likely to move him, because having his bond called nbot only costs him what the bonding company pays to finish the work, but also makes his bonding costs go way up in the future for 3 years or more.

Otherwise, a complaint to the state licensing board would get his attention, because they can suspend or revoke his license.

Final option would be a small claims court suit representing yourself in court - what the eMail says and photos of the completed area and the undone area would be crucial to the scope of work questions and to whether he actually completed the work he originally scoped to be 6 man-days. The fact about half the area is done matches the half the estimated work time gone by certainly would weigh in your favor.

I would start with a certified return-receipt letter stating you believe the work is approximately X % done and you want it either finished, or will accept his stopping the job now for total payment to him (including initial deposit) of X dollars in exchange for paid-in-full invoice and lien release. Then if he fails to come through, you have the above options to consider.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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