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Question DetailsAsked on 5/27/2014

Paid 50% at contract signing + a change request. Now change request for work already stated in contract! More!

Contract to correct work done poorly by friend & complete kitchenette/bar in basement. Door not installed, drywall not sanded/primed(1st 2 part of paid change request), a door way not framed for recessed fridge and they want to set cabinets (contract verbiage states next 25% due at cabinetry) so I have to pay the next 25%. This would leave me holding back 918.00 for completion which is counter tops, bar front, incorporating basement pole in countertop, sink, faucet, trim, caulk, and final paint. They accidentally backed over two young trees along our driveway & tell me they will NOT purchase from a nursery to replace with similar size trees(4 1/2 to 5 inch truck diameter). Say will only replace from Lowe's stock(Lowe's doesn't carry trees this size). Now we've also received a change request for work already stated in the initial contract! What should I do, what are my rights? I'm already in 2100.00 plus dollars and I'm not getting a good feeling. We had the cabinets already

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4 Answers


I'm sorry to say this but if $2100 is half of the cost for all of that you are way underpaying and it sounds like you are getting what you are paying for. It sounds like this "freind" doesn't know what he is doing or was being too generous in doing the job dirt cheap or even likely at loss.

You have the right to terminate the contract if the work is not being performed properly. I don't know how cabinets can go in before framing is completed and they shouldn't be installed before the drywall work is done. My suggestion is to explain that the work will be done in the correct order or you will have no choice but to find another contractor to complete the job. The only things that should be left after the cabinets are installed are the countertops, trim, and touch-up paint. Depending on the lighting design, it can be installed before or after the cabinets go in.

Answered 6 years ago by Todd's Home Services


I agree with the Todd's answer and I actuall skipped this question because it sounded like the price was way too low to be true. I would bet that your "contractor" has no insurance to cover damage done to your trees. And by the way a 5" tree is not that young and the root ball alone would need special equipment not to mention I would like to see what damage was done to the truck that hit it!


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Sounds like you are not dealing with a nice person. If they are asking for change orders for things in the contract, send the change order back to them with DENIED written across it, and a note stating the scope of work is in the original contract, and date and sign below that - and keep a copy. I would send via certified return receipt mail. I would also be talking to an attorney about this, as it looks like you are headed that way, and don't make any progress payments until ALL the scope of work for that work item is completed to your satisfaction - you have been setting yourself up by paying for incomplete work.

As for the trees - I would tell him fine, if you are not going to have a nursery replace them with same sized trees, then you will be filing a claim with his insurance company. And do it.

Here is a set of responses on firing a contractor from a similar situation, should that subject interest you -

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


If the initial deposit or retainer was more than $1000 or 10% (which ever is less), and this occurred in California, then that is a business and professions code violation which can be reported to the California Contractors State License Board, the case would be investigated for a possible code violation, and the person would get fined. If this person is not a licensed contractor, they can also be reported (and arrested, as the CSLB carries out stings and arrests individuals who contract without a license for work above $500, I believe that is the amount). Do not pay for work that is incomplete or pay for anything in advance, don't sign any Change Orders for work already stipulated in your original contract. Do get the insurance information, and I would threaten to subtract the amount of replacement of the trees from the final bill. Do not pay the final bill until you get any subcontractor lien releases, and if the subs haven't been paid, then you insist on paying with a joint check made out to both the sub and the general contractor, so you don't get stuck paying twice (once to the General Contractor, and if he doesn't pay his subs, you'd get stuck paying the sub yourself, or you could get slapped with a lien on your property). Also, get a lien release from your General Contractor when you make final payment. Do threaten to report them to the CSLB in your state. Many will cooperate if threatened with that!

Answered 4 years ago by BadBuilderBuster

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