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Question DetailsAsked on 1/6/2016

How can a proposal be a contract and legally binding?

I signed a proposal for flooring and construction, paid for the flooring installation but it is not finished. Vinyl Plank is still sticky and has gum like residue in the cracks. They say they wont clean it up until we pay for the rest of the construction work because they bid the labor on flooring low and were going to make it up with the construction.

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2 Answers


I suggest a neutral 3rd party like church pastor theirs or yours. You give money to them with understanding that when work is complete and you agree 3rd party will pay contractor. You do not have to pay until job is completed unless you agree ahead of time to different terms.

Jim Casper 40 year home improvement contractor

Answered 4 years ago by jccasper


Leaving aside the issue of advance payments and deposits and such, do not pay for work that is not done. If they refuse to bring the flooring work up to snuff, it makes absolutely no sense to pay for the rest of the work in advance just so they will make that right - plus you have no way of knowing they will do any better on the rest of the project, so you may be paying in advance for sub-standard (or no) performance down the road.

It could be they are a contractor who routinely does lousy or incomplete work - or even a scammer who leaves the job as soon as he has gotten all the easy money he thinks he will get out of the client, asks for the rest of the contracted money as soon as the client first objects to shoddy workmanship somewhere in the job, then skips out.

Technically, unless the surface is unwalkable and in an area of the house that has to be used during construction (i.e. in current use part of house, not a brand-new not-in-use addition), since the construction and flooring are part of the same job then unless they had different completion dates and specific line item bids, the contractor technically does not have to clean it up and deliver it to you in finished condition until the end of the project - though if the glue and flooring is gummy for more than a day or at most two after completion something is wrong with it (probably carpenter's rather than flooring glue) or they used too much and it oozed out and made a slow-curing blob, and walking on it will trap and grind dirt into it making it more difficult to untimately clean up - commonly resuylting in permanently dark joints.

Basically, at this point, you have two common choices (depending of course on specific contract terms) - wait till job completion and don't pay any more till required by contract (increemental payments as specified job milestones are met) or until the job is done; or tell him he makes it right now or he is going to have his Bond called because of unsuitable workmanship. Then if he does not make it right, contact his Bonding company about THEM making it right and finishing the job on his behalf.

That will certainly get his attention, because if you call his bond, in almost all cases (unless he goes bankrupt) he has to pay the bonding company back for any expenses they pay for, PLUS lose his bond or pay a lot higher bonding rates in the future.

If you are a Premium member, you can also contact Member Services about using their dispute resolution service. They also have a new performance and cost guarantee - you can talk to them about that, not real clear yet what all that entails and whether it only applies to Deals and Coupons or to all AL listed contractor-performed work (I think the latter).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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