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Question DetailsAsked on 5/18/2014

what can a customer do if a contractor does not finish the contract

Basement remodeling. contract... what if the contractor does not finish and abandons the project.

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3 Answers


I would send him a CERTIFIED letter that you want a response as to when he can complete the job within a set time and that if you do not hear from him within that time period you will get another contractor to finish the job and back bill him for any work you paid in advance for. I would then get probably three estimates to back up your claim and if you find you have overpaid sue for the him difference. You might want to state that in your letter to the first contractor.

Hopefully you may get a response but if not you have covered yourself even if you do not go after the deadbeat, that is why I said certified letter . I think every contractor has under bid a job in their life but you do not walk away from it! A simple job like a finished basement should not have had any surprises though. My most recent oops was a flood job where the owners were under water on the mortgage and we found termites after demo and since insurance will not cover that I ate the repair because I could ot just put up new sheetrock and cover the damage. You can't get blood out of a stone but I have to live with myself.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Time to document work progress, payments, contract etc on paper and photos, then put in a claim with his bonding company - he was bonded, right ?

Also probably time to bring in a lawyer to advise on withholding of final payment, documenting status of the work as of when he left, giving formal notice of termination, giving him opportunity to reclaim his tools left on site (but NOT materials), getting a lien release or court ordered lien injunction, etc.

BTW - on the certified letter thing from Don - make sure ti is Certified, Return Receipt,, with ADDRESSEE'S Signature required, as proof of delivery TO HIM. In some states it has to be Registered to be legal notice so google your state's proof of delivery requirements.

There are also some other responses under this answer.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Hello, this is Meranda with Angie's List.

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with this contractor. You should definitely submit a review on about your experience so other consumers know about it. You also may find help in this article from our Newsroom about what to do when a contractor screws you over.

As an added benefit of membership, when you submit a review with a grade below C, you may be able to go through our Complaint Resolution Process. In that case, one of our staff members will contact the company on your behalf to try to reach a solution/resolution for you.

If you need more help, you can always reach out to our member services team: 1-888-944-5478 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.

Good luck!

Answered 6 years ago by Meranda

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