Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 6/25/2012

Can we recover a deposit from a contractor who is not meeting a schedule outlined in our signed agreement?

We hired a contractor to remodel our kitchen. We signed a contract & paid a $10K deposit in April. Our contract states work is expected to begin in July & be completed in August. We have told him many times (in writing) that we need the job to be completed no later than 8/25; he said no problem. We have asked him repeatedly what we need to do to get materials ordered to complete the job on time. He refuses to provide a firm project schedule. He has become less and less responsive and never told us what he needed until this Saturday. We provided the information (cabinet finish selection) immediately and asked him when he would order the cabinets and begin work. He now tells us he can't guarantee the work to be finished on time. Can we terminate the contract and recover our deposit? We can't do the work after August, but need to know if we have any case to get our money back so we can hire an alternative contractor.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

4 Answers


Legal advise is worth what you pay for it, that being said, Your only recourse is hiring an attorney, and my guess the cost of recovering any or all of your money is going to be greater than your recovery. So your hard deadline is written in sand, adjust your expectations. Be a pro active client, go positive, stay in touch with contractor, do what it takes to get it done as quick as it can be finished. If you feel it is fraud and your project will not be completed (forget your deadline) then circle the wagons and hit the attack button, Local tv stations,,Better Business Bureau, States Attorney General Consumer Fraud Division etc

Jim Casper


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper


I'm really sorry to hear about yourexperience. Angie's List does not offer legal advice, but we do encourage youto submit a review about your experiences to warn other Angie's List members inyour area about this individual.

Answered 8 years ago by Katie J.


This is common and the law is very clear. The work is to be done with in "a reasonable time" unless a drop dead date was specifically and properly written into your specific contract before the work began (student only).

What you put in writing now is not relevant in typical contractor contracts. The courts defer to the industry standard and he, to your (and many others) frustration, is with in that standard. He is not providing a firm schedule at this point for a myriad of reasons.

If you really hate the guy, you can breach/break the contract, but you are now the one at fault. Read what you signed.

It stinks, but this happens all the time, which is why so many people ask around and around . . . before letting anyone tear up their house. It's something that is really hard to protect yourself from. In hindsight, you should fire someone as soon as your gut says so, then you lose less money in the long run.

Long and short sounds like he already ordered the material, which you are responsible for. Offer to buy the materials to buy out the contract - he may want to get out of it by now.

Sorry and good luck.

Answered 8 years ago by help1968


Spend the $3,000 at a good law firm to get your situation evaluated and basic advice.

Answered 8 years ago by help1968

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy