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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2012

What do we owe a contractor who disappeared before finishing a project?

A contractor installed a new bathroom for us. They were incredibly sloppy and the project took 4 months because his guys wouldn't show up for weeks at a time. They also kept breaking things, so we kept having to have them fix things. They tracked paint onto our hardwood floors and our deck, they dumped plaster into our garden - killing our 50 year old trees, left razor blades laying around the house while my toddler was learning to walk etc. They kept saying they would clean up everything when they were done. Then one day they stopped showing up or returning my calls. A few weeks later the contractor emailed asking me for final payment. I sent him a list of things that needed to be repaired/finished before final payment. He didn't respond to me for FOUR MONTHS. We had to clean up the place ourselves and have others repair much of the work.
He came to my house a few days ago demanding payment. What do I owe somebody who left the place a disaster and disappeared?

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1 Answer


First off you do not want to pay this individual any money without a signed lien waiver. Guessing the $ are great enough you may want to consult an attorney to advise on your states legalities. Without a waiver and proof all subcontractors and materials were paid for can leave you holding a big bag of unpaid bills. After those steps you can offer to use BBB (Better Businness Bureau) binding arbitration for a settlement conference. Or guessing this individual is unlikely to be a member-assign a reasonable value for your unreimbursed extra labor & the cost of the various contractors you employeed to get the JOB to a " workman like manner". Plus did the contractor achieve the result you and he agreed on for the finished bathroom? Adjust price to reflect these costs, and unfortunately the razor blades etc are just water over the dam. With signed release pay contractor.

What is the moral? Cheap many times, equal not so cheap,, a timeline is always necessary, & use BBB members when in doubt.


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper

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