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Posted: 12/4/2007 11:27:41 AM EDT
I signed a contact with a home remodeller on Oct. 1 to remodel my garage.

The guy took the plans and $1000 off me.

He said around Nov. 1 that the plans were approved and he would need a few weeks to get started.

Now the POS doesn't even return my calls.

What I would like to do now is hire another guy and get my money back.

I called the township and they said the plans were approved Oct. 25.

What should I do at this point?

I would pay a lawyer up to $2000 to get the money back. That way I'd be in the same boat finanically but at least I'd have the pleasure of making the effer pay the money back.

By the way, this guy came to me with a sterling recommendation from the architect who did the plans.

Thanks
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:29:18 AM EDT
Go to his house. Show him pictures of sucking chest wounds.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:30:16 AM EDT
Small claims court. Don't need a lawyer.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:31:14 AM EDT
If the guy is licensed, you should be covered by the state fund.

If he's not licensed, you better pray he's insured and then go have a talk with his agent.

If he's not insured, you're screwed.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:31:41 AM EDT
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:31:47 AM EDT
$1000 is small-claims court in most jurisdictions.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:33:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:34:33 AM EDT
Small claims or sue his ass.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:34:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.


Yep... Oh and to the OP just kiss that money goodbye because it will cost you more to get it back hat to just forget about it. Unfortunately most laws will protect him and not you.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:35:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.



This was a good faith deposit, so he could got to the township and file all the focking forms and get the plans approved.

I'm going to go get the plans from the township ASAP.

Hopefully the guy won't try to claim that handing a set of plans across a counter cost $1000.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:36:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BlackDog714:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.


Yep... Oh and to the OP just kiss that money goodbye because it will cost you more to get it back hat to just forget about it. Unfortunately most laws will protect him and not you.


I'm not expecting much at this point.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:40:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By red65:
This was a good faith deposit, so he could got to the township and file all the focking forms and get the plans approved.

I'm going to go get the plans from the township ASAP.

Hopefully the guy won't try to claim that handing a set of plans across a counter cost $1000.

Again, read my first post. You *do* have options available to you if he is licensed and/or insured.

His license number should be on the contract and you might be able to find out who his insurance agent is, too. The agent will be interested to hear of any unethical and illegal business practices by this guy.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:41:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By red65:
This was a good faith deposit, so he could got to the township and file all the focking forms and get the plans approved.

I'm going to go get the plans from the township ASAP.

Hopefully the guy won't try to claim that handing a set of plans across a counter cost $1000.

Again, read my first post. You *do* have options available to you if he is licensed and/or insured.

His license number should be on the contract and you might be able to find out who his insurance agent is, too. The agent will be interested to hear of any unethical and illegal business practices by this guy.


He'll just claim it ws research or fees or permits or plans. Trust me, I bet he does this all the time
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:41:51 AM EDT
Maybe call the BBB in your state. I second the small claims court.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:43:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hunter121:
Maybe call the BBB....

Might as well call General Custer.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:45:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By red65:
I signed a contact with a home remodeller on Oct. 1 to remodel my garage.

The guy took the plans and $1000 off me.

He said around Nov. 1 that the plans were approved and he would need a few weeks to get started.

Now the POS doesn't even return my calls.

What I would like to do now is hire another guy and get my money back.

I called the township and they said the plans were approved Oct. 25.

What should I do at this point?

I would pay a lawyer up to $2000 to get the money back. That way I'd be in the same boat finanically but at least I'd have the pleasure of making the effer pay the money back.

By the way, this guy came to me with a sterling recommendation from the architect who did the plans.

Thanks


Small claims court

No lawyer needed...

Sue his ass..

You can also get the state or county to revoke his contractor's license (you did make sure he's licensed, right?)... That would fuck his business over pretty good...
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:48:56 AM EDT
What does your written contract say?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:51:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:53:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By red65:
This was a good faith deposit, so he could got to the township and file all the focking forms and get the plans approved.

I'm going to go get the plans from the township ASAP.

Hopefully the guy won't try to claim that handing a set of plans across a counter cost $1000.

Again, read my first post. You *do* have options available to you if he is licensed and/or insured.

His license number should be on the contract and you might be able to find out who his insurance agent is, too. The agent will be interested to hear of any unethical and illegal business practices by this guy.


thanks, i will give it a try
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:56:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 11:57:50 AM EDT by Wobblin-Goblin]

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
If the guy is licensed, you should be covered by the state fund.

If he's not licensed, you better pray he's insured and then go have a talk with his agent.

If he's not insured, you're screwed.

Huh? State fund?

I've never seen an insurance policy that would pay out for a contractor's failure to carry out a contract.

The state fund I am referring to has nothing to do with insurance. It is the fund that is set up by individual states to help customers who have been screwed by registered (licensed) contractors. The licensing fee paid annually by contractors is where this money comes from.

ETA: People who "hire" unlicensed contractors do not have access to this fund.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:59:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By red65:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By red65:
This was a good faith deposit, so he could got to the township and file all the focking forms and get the plans approved.

I'm going to go get the plans from the township ASAP.

Hopefully the guy won't try to claim that handing a set of plans across a counter cost $1000.

Again, read my first post. You *do* have options available to you if he is licensed and/or insured.

His license number should be on the contract and you might be able to find out who his insurance agent is, too. The agent will be interested to hear of any unethical and illegal business practices by this guy.


thanks, i will give it a try


Trust me this is a waste of time. The contractor will have some bs excuse that will cover his ass no matter who you call... I wish it wasn't the case, but I've seen it so many times it doesn't even make me sick anymore, I've just come to expect it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:00:40 PM EDT
BRRIIIIIIIING!

"Mike Holmes"

<Cue metal music>

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:24:13 PM EDT
Draw Down.........Someone had to mention it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:30:42 PM EDT

I want you to go see this contractor. You know how to handle it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:39:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Originally Posted By red65:

snip ... That would fuck his business over pretty good...


sadly ,, a few hundred and he is back in biz with a new name and new logo .

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:48:12 PM EDT
That sucks
Go get the plans, you paid for 'em.

I don't agree with the earlier comment about deposits. I run a small business and we do seeding/fertilizing, etc and I don't charge a deposit unless it's a huge job. (15,000+ in materials)

Yeah, it fugging hurts, but I don't want to be treated like that and therefore I don't do it to my customers. Only gotten boned one time in 5 years for $150 total bill. (and that one is going to collections so I can ruin their credit)

If you special ordered something, sure, you should have to put down a deposit, but regular $hit like plans, etc, no need for a deposit.

But yeah, probably small claims court.
Actually, call the architect who recommended him, that's a good way to start ruining this prick's name. And all the architect's have more pull than you.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:16:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 2:17:19 PM EDT by red65]
Am I ever glad that I only gave him $1000.

If I don't see it again, I'll just chalk it up to part of the cost of doing the work.

It's really sad -


You cannot get a contractor to show up.

You cannot get them to make a bid.

You cannot get them to start work.

You cannot trust them with a deposit.


It like the professionalism is non-existent.


My sister needed about $20,000 worth of heating and cooling work done and she could not get anyone to take the work because the work involved going up into an attic, which was "too much of a pain in the ass".

sheesh

I'm just going to forget about getting any kind of remodelling work done in the future.

Fuck this noise.

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:19:41 PM EDT
IMO
If he's insured, go the legal route in small claims, if not try anyways.
You should be able to get the plans from the clerk for a small fee.
Now, how to get your money back if he is really screwing you.

Search his name and records find family members
Show up at his wife's work make a big scene and tell her boss her husband is a thief and why, leave before you get slpped with tresspasing.
Go by the kiddies school and say hello to im or his wife and make your presence known and your not going away until your debt is settled.
Next to the parents, brothers uncles homes, tell them your an old fiend from high school and see if you solicit personel information from them on contacting him, let them know who you are and that youd like to get in touch again.
Now go to his home and work and just harrass the shit of him.

I know i"m nuts but it works, Usually you get resolution at step one. People talk big about what they would do until it actually happens to them then they usually think reasonably and get the point
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:26:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NvrenufRR:
IMO
If he's insured, go the legal route in small claims, if not try anyways.



The contractor being insured has nothing to do with this as insurance would not respond to failure to fulfill a contact.

I agree with the other on the small claims court if you have no other recourse.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:30:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.


The only way around it is if you can hire only the labor.

When I had two bathrooms remodeled I bought all the materials and had them in my garage before I took estimates from them.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:52:14 PM EDT
Its called a performance bond most large citys require that contractors put up this bond for reasons like this.

Honestly what will hurt him the most is an bad rating to Angies list if you have one locally, and a letter to the BBB yes people still check the scum suckers to see if there are any claims.

Go to small claims court and sue him. Indianapolis it would cost 70.00 and would be a slam dunk win.


Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
If the guy is licensed, you should be covered by the state fund.

If he's not licensed, you better pray he's insured and then go have a talk with his agent.

If he's not insured, you're screwed.


Huh? State fund?
I've never seen an insurance policy that would pay out for a contractor's failure to carry out a contract.

I suspect that small claims court is the answer. The police will mostly likely say "civil action not my problem" but if he did no work and you get a sympathetic cop he might go have a talk with the contractor.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:57:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 2:58:40 PM EDT by ShingleMonkey]
We do about 750,000K in Residentail and comercial roofs a year...all business bldgs pay 1/3 deposit up front.....just because they are the one who are mostly to fugg with my money.


Residentials zero up front...unless the material gets to be more than 15k then we take the material money at signing of the contract.

For the most part we do more than 100 roofs a year with zero down.

If I can be of any help please PM me.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:15:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShingleMonkey:
We do about 750,000K in Residentail and comercial roofs a year...all business bldgs pay 1/3 deposit up front.....just because they are the one who are mostly to fugg with my money.


Residentials zero up front...unless the material gets to be more than 15k then we take the material money at signing of the contract.

For the most part we do more than 100 roofs a year with zero down.

If I can be of any help please PM me.


Thats a HUGE business!!!

What area of IN do you work as I will need a roof next spring? Do you do siding too?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:30:15 PM EDT
We are located in Indy but travel to where ever the work needs to be done at.

we do roofing, siding and gutters

Where are you located at?

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:32:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShingleMonkey:
We are located in Indy but travel to where ever the work needs to be done at.

we do roofing, siding and gutters

Where are you located at?



Greenwood
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:37:16 PM EDT
Wait untill spring, its hard to install a quality roof now.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:43:55 PM EDT
Call the architect and find out what is going on with him. When I'm doing jobs I take 50% down because I got tired of people dragging ass to pay me when it was done.

most of the time when I do a job it is for a personal friend and so they know me and know I don't steal.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:45:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShingleMonkey:
Its called a performance bond most large citys require that contractors put up this bond for reasons like this.

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
If the guy is licensed, you should be covered by the state fund.

If he's not licensed, you better pray he's insured and then go have a talk with his agent.

If he's not insured, you're screwed.

Huh? State fund?

No, it's not a performance bond, although those do exist.

When a contractor pays his fee to become a registered, licensed contractor in the state, the state then takes a portion of that money and puts it into a fund that pays out "claims" to customers who were stiffed by licensed contractors. In CT, the maximum payout is capped at $15,000, IIRC.

However, if someone chose to "save money" by hiring some guy from the next town over because he was 20% cheaper than the licensed, insured contractor, that person will not have access to the state fund because they did not hire a registered contractor.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:54:37 PM EDT
Well I guess Im an idiot for paying 200.00 a year for a 10k performance bond that is written to the city of Indianapolis every fucking year.

That 10k is available for anyone I screw out of money...from my insurance company.

maybe its different where you live but this is how it works here.

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 4:57:26 PM EDT
I pay $160 per year to the state plus $604 for my insurance.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:00:39 PM EDT
Im not talking about my liability insurance, it runs over 8k a year for roofing.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:03:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShingleMonkey:
Im not talking about my liability insurance, it runs over 8k a year for roofing.

Yep. Roofer's insurance is applied without lube.

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:12:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.


I've been in the construction business since 1985, fly by night contractors take your front money and run. I've never had a problem with, or seen honest contractors have a problem with, starting the job without front money. YMMV.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:12:44 PM EDT
Small claims court.......
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:12:46 PM EDT
Small claims court.......
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:13:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By navvet89:
never pay in advance, if the contractor doesn't have the means to buy the materials without front money from you find another contractor.

You'll never get a contractor to work for you, then.

Standard practice is either 10% or 25% down on all contracts I've ever seen.


I've been in the construction business since 1985, fly by night contractors take your front money and run. I've never had a problem with, or seen honest contractors have a problem with, starting the job without front money. YMMV.

(Of course we aren't talking about your "business out of a pickup truck" contractors here either.)
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:14:08 PM EDT
Small claims court.......
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:00:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 6:02:07 PM EDT by 2hawk]
Looks like PA doesn't have a contractor license requirement. Kinda behind the times, if that's true. But, it appears that it does require architects to be licensed. Looks like that's where your leverage is. If this guy was the architects choice, you've got to get with the architect and see if he'll help you in a recovery. He says "not my problem", file your complaint with the State Architects Licensure Board.

An aside, I always get a down from customers. There are just as many flaky clients as there are shady contractors, and I've seen many good contractors go down because they got too far out and couldn't get payment promised. If I do sign a contract without down, payment is expected when the materials hit the site. At that point the property owner has control of the materials, and he should be willing to make payment. And, if it's a custom cabinet order, expensive / special order plumbing or other appliances or fixtures, I need to have the cost covered. We've been is business a long time (50+ yrs), and we've seen people flake out, change their mind, get divorced, have car accidents and wind up in the hospital, you name it. If can't return the item, it gets paid for up front. I work as a contractor, not a home improvement lending person
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 7:39:37 PM EDT
If the guy owns any property for sale hit him with a mechanic's lien. This will cause all the titles he holds to not be clear and all his assets will be f'd. I had to do this to the general contractor on my house when the friggin' driveway collapsed a few months after moving in. After melting my phone with profanity he was at my house with a backhoe fixing the driveway literally within hours. It doesn't matter if the lien is for $1.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 8:54:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By red65:
I signed a contact with a home remodeller on Oct. 1 to remodel my garage.

The guy took the plans and $1000 off me.

He said around Nov. 1 that the plans were approved and he would need a few weeks to get started.

Now the POS doesn't even return my calls.


Show up at his office / home.

If you don't have an address... you suckered yourself.

You could pay an attorney to write a nice threatening letter and send it certified, return receipt requested. Demand that he perform or refund your money.

Last resort, just go to small claims court. It's a slam dunk... you have a written contract, right? You'll have the proof that you sent a letter and a copy of the letter. If he shows up, he'll have to have a pretty good story to avoid a judgement. If he doesn't, you'll probably get a summary judgement as long as you've dotted all of your Is and crossed all of your Ts. At that point, collecting can be a pain, but you might be able to get the Sheriff to do a "till tap", or put a lien against something he owns. Worst case, you could probably sell the judgement to a debt collection agency, which will proceed to make his life pretty miserable.

After that's all said and done, I'd report him to the BBB and the state licensing board. The BBB can't do anything except note that there's been a complaint and what response, if any, he provided. But maybe somebody else will check his BBB record before contracting his services (ahem...) The state board? Maybe they'll have enough other complaints to suspend his license. If nobody ever complains, creeps like this get to keep taking advantage of more people.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 9:02:13 PM EDT
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