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Question DetailsAsked on 12/12/2013

Should I pay a bill in full from a contractor that botched a job?

We recently hired a pool man to install a pool heat pump and fix our pool plumbing system. He stated he was licensed and had several years experience doing pool repairs. We paid for the heat pump and motor up front. He said the job would take just a "few hours". After two weeks of excuse after excuse, it was still not functioning properly. He brought in two "experts" to advise him but still couldn't complete the job. We fired him and brought in a new company that fixed his leaks and poor cement job. They had to rebuild some of what he had done and perform work he didn't do. It cost us an extra $400. His bill consists of parts (PVC Pipe, valves) and labor which is a fraction of his actual time spent. He did not charge us for the "experts", nor did he charge us for all of the parts as he readily admitted he had to pay for his mistakes (PVC he ruined) . I feel for him but he misrepresented his abilities and wasted our time. The bill includes both parts and labor.

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3 Answers


You state that You hired , A pool Man to install and fix your swimming pool heating system.

Installations of heating equipment for a swimming pool falls under the category of HVAC & Plumbing contractors .

Therefore My question is , Why would you hire a "Pool Man" to repair and Install a pool heat pump . Pool Men are NOT Licensed plumbers or HVAC Contractors and do NOT have sufficient knowledge or experience to install pool heaters ,much less repair them.

The inability of the workman to make the repairs without screwing the entire system up

speaks volumes about his abilities or lack thereof ,which brings me to the following .

You need to contact an attorney At ONCE.

It sounds as though your Pool Man is performing work that should ONLY be performed


Heat Pumps are NOT systems that can be properly installed by Novices !

Pool Repairs are NOT repairs that can be handled by a typical handyman !

Here in the State of Virginia and in many states across America,

it is ILLEGAL for a UNLICENSED Repairman to make repairs to , or attempt to install a system which requires a PERMIT and Inspections and here, ALL, heating systems require an inspection upon installation ! If a contractor installs a system and Fails to obtain the proper Permits and inspections for said install ,the client who hires the offending individual , is , Entitled to receive FULL Refund of all monies paid and payment for damages , but each State has thier own Rules and regulations and that is WHY You should seek an attorney !

If the installer ,does have license for such installs , and HE failed to get the proper inspections , the same law protects the customer as well . Failure of the contractor

to secure Permits and conduct inspections are FATAL to his cause and all monies paid the contractor are DUE back to you.

Good Luck !

Answered 6 years ago by BentheBuilder


If I am reading the question correctly he sent you a final bill after he did notshow up to finish the job quoted. Well I will say one thing about him, he's got nerve. Rather than getting into how he may or may not have needed to be licensed he was not quallified. Instead of spending the money on an attorney send him his bill along with a copy of your paid bill from the contractor that fixed his mess with the negative amount owed showing on your own bill to him. I doubt you will hear from him and if so it would be a small claims amount and no lawyer would be needed, but I doubt it would get that far. At this point I think this guy just wants this mess to go away.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


You do not say if you have paid him anything or not, nor what the original agreed-upon amount was - or were you flying bare without a contract ?

If you feel his work was worth what his cut-back bill is for, pay him and note that it is payment in full on the check. Sounds to me likehe recognizes he bit off more than he could chew and is reducing his bill proportionally to something he considers fair.

If you feel the $400 you paid contractor #2 is about what the first guy would have been paid for his "few hours", then you could refuse to pay any, or pay only the parts portion and note that since his work had to be redone, you are denying the labor portion.

If you can confirm he does not have required license - presumably plumbing and maybe electrical and perhaps general contractor depending on your state, that obviously would strengthen your position in not paying him.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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