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Question DetailsAsked on 11/21/2017

my contractor mismanaged his time and now my job is taking too long, how do i get him to speed it up?

he did not work 8 hour days, he took off a week for a broken down truck, he came up late to help his parents in the mornings, he took a vacation (which everyone deserves) he keeps saying he "should have charged me extra for the 2 weeks he worked on my windows before the siding went up". I just don't; see how that would have mattered when he doesn't;'t work 8 hour days to begin with. he says he is out of money for my house addition he started 7 months ago, which should have been done 3 months ago. there's a lot more to it. I have paid the majority of the contract price. he says he will finish it, but he won't give a time frame. that is not fair to me that he mismanaged his time and money in this project. how do I get him to finish it?

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1 Answer


Many (most ?) contractors are not good time or money managers - they prefer or naturally tend to just get in there and do the work, so project scheduling is commonly the first thing to fall apart. Basically, the planning and scheduling and nit-picky detail oriented people do not become contractors - that is why larger (basically commercial/industrial) jobs use a construction manager or project engineer specializing in tracking and correcting project budget and schedule performance.

To be fair, most contractors have multiple jobs going at the same time, so they do not work 8 hours on your job - at least not every day. A general contractor, using his staff and/or subcontractors, unless a very small company, will himself rarely spend even 1/2 day at a time on a given jobsite. Most of his time is spent running around handling "emergencies", picking up materials to keep the job moving, dealing with clients (both for future and present jobs), etc. Sounds like you may have a one-man outfit, and if he spent 2 weeks on the windows before siding, sounds like he bit of more than he could reasonably chew.

Certainly the truck thing was solveable - for $25-50/day he couldhave rented a temporary truck and continued woirk, and the vacation of course is not excuse - it should have been scheduled around the jobs (or the jobs scheduled around a preplanned vacation window).

I hope you have a firm price contract with him, not cost-plus - because it sounds like he is about to come back asking for more money.

You do not want to let him get "ahead of you" on the $ side - you don't want to have paid him more than the value of the work to date at any point in time, once you get past the initial deposit/start of work phase.

Assuming you have already verbally expressed your concerns about progress and there has been no sustained improvement, you need to send him (shouldhave been a few months ago) a written statement that he is behind schedule by 3 months and work is not progressing very fast, so you want a firm completion date from him. Then sit down with him and go over his schedule and the status of the job - how much needs to be completed and how long will each step take, and what items are complete and which have "punchlist" items needing to be completed before final acceptance. Get a new completion date in writing, and be sure to document whether this is an agreed-upon change order (so changing the contract completioin date officially WITH your approval), or if it is a revised promised completion date from him but NOT a change in the contracted date, so it is still considered a failure to complete on time under the contract.

Then if he fails to perform, or says he cannot finish the job as originally contracted, hopefully you had a firm scope of work and schedule and job total cost amount in the original contract, because your next alternative would be to call his Bond, forcing the bonding company to arrange for project completion per the original contract terms.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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