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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2016

What can be done if i started a total house remodel and bought materails and payed for materials but not labor and

The job wasn't finished?

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2 Answers


1) get agreement from contractor to either finish the job, or negotiate a change of scope and project cost for what materials were provided plus fair labor payment for the work properly done - basically a contract change order acknowledging project was not finished but for the work and materials provided (and make sure materials stay at your place if paid for by you) he is getting so many $ - accounting of course for all payments you have already made.

Note that if you pay him the fair market value for what work he did do (assuming it is satisfactory), having another contractor finish the job is almost certain to result in a larger total cost, both because of it now (for the remaining work) being a smaller job but also some rework is almost certain to be needed. Plus issues of the second contractor almost certainly not being willing to give a warranty on any work not totally done by himself, so the "fair value" for the work is likely substantially less than market value of that work as a stand-alone project.

2) if he refuses, then call his Bond to have the bonding company finish the job at the original contract price with another contractor - or they may offaer you a lump sum settlement for you to get another contractor on your own, which you should not accept unless you have a firm bid for completion from another contractor in hand to compare the cost. Bonding company offers typicalliy run only about half of the actual estimated completion cost.

3) sue him for non-performance - but since you pay your legal costs in most cases this is usually a losing proposition, though may be necessary if he was not bonded or will not provide lien releases

Note - in all cases, you need to get a written proof of payment in full and pay by check or credit card so you have proof of payment from them too (and download and print statement or check image after payment), including a signed (by him) invoice or such indicating you have paid in full - plus lien releases from the contractor, any major suppliers, and all subcontractors if any.

And of course, after all is said and done (so it does not screw up your negotiations by causing hard feelings), an appropriate Review on AL would probably be in order.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


BTW - recent comment on the materials that should stay at your place issue -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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