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Link Posted: 2/23/2021 7:50:49 AM EST
Id repossess the work with a bulldozer before walking away from $11,000
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:37:44 AM EST
OP should feel bad.  I feel stupider for having to read that.

Lien the property, then move on with life.  That's the high road.

Picketing the house is the batshit crazy, restraining order-inducing low road.

Who knows, may 3, 5, 10 years down the road, you get a check for the $11k.  Found money.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:43:59 AM EST
May have to negotiate, but file lawsuit for full amount first.

Normally, you would get your full amount.  But in their eyes, your quote was $11K low.

I'm sure that you are an ethical businessman.  That said, around here contractors underbid jobs to get them, then cry to the customer for more money.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:48:29 AM EST
chainsaw!!!
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:49:44 AM EST
Lien 'em.   They're deadbeats and probably figured on cheating you.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:07:17 AM EST
The owners issue is probably a larger issue with the GCs conduct, if so the GC is shitting on you.

Lien (it's pretty easy) live and learn.  Unless your GC steps up and does everything he can to pay you even if he has to court/lien then you can't trust him either and this will happen again.

Next contract with him would have a line about triple damages.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:17:24 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By burnka871:
We're not talking about 1100 man. It's 11000.

Get your fucking money.
View Quote

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:20:54 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Handydave:
You need to both file a mechanics lien and send them a certified demand letter from an attorney with a date in the future where you will be filing in court.
Decent chance you get your money right before that date. If that doesn’t work.
Next take them to court, assuming your contract does not specify arbitration.
Find out what the max for small claims court as well and it may be something you can do yourself.
When you file you typically have to also put an ad in the legal section of the paper.  That’s not good for them or their business.
Your contract should also specify you can collect all attorney fees associated with getting your money.
You are not the only person they have done this to or will do it to and they are banking on you not being willing to get your money.
Prove them wrong.
Talk to the builder and every other trade and find out who else is in this boat. Band together.
Talk to an attorney to find out what you can and cannot do and go after their social media but be very careful
<———-  general contractor.

View Quote

I'd picket that cheap bastards home in a minute. FTR- it doesn't have to be you, hire a kid @ $10 an hour. Couple hours twice a day during the morning and evening rush should do.

Actually I'd prefer to take my work back period. Even if he was standing there with the cash as I fired up the chainsaw. That would go south quickly.

But, reality is what Handydave posted. Pay a few $ and consult a lawyer, this sounds like your first rodeo. Don't hesitate, there's most likely time limits for filing.

Then rich boy can't sell or refinance his home until you're satisfied. Look at that 11K as being in a no interest savings account.

IME rich people are usually the first to try and fuck you out of a buck.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:21:14 AM EST
Just out of curiosity are the owners East Indian?  I've read very similar stories of this happening to different trades. Loved the work, but don't want to pay the final price.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:22:54 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cayau:
I have a contract, and the final bill is about 30% over estimate BUT this possibility was clearly communicated, which is why we only agreed to do the job hourly. I still may sue, but have been down that road in the past, and in my experience the courts seem to want everyone to feel some pain. If I get 1/2 it really will cost me as I would have sunk even more time and effort into chasing those shrinking dollars. What I am really after is getting them to pay, and if they don't, knowing that I am going to call them out by name, in front of all of their rich neighbors, in their rich neighborhood, that they are freeloading pieces of shit who refuse to uphold what they agreed to. I want them to feel it, not have it swept under the rug in an anonymous courtroom. Court feels like the easy way out for them, if that makes sense....
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Two things, OP.

1) If you think your client will pay you rather than have their neighbors know they welch on honest debts, then you have more faith in the innate goodness of man than I do.  And I’m pretty much a polly-f’n-anna.

2) $30K+ for stairs. Jesus, I really am poor, white, trash.


Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:27:20 AM EST
So you don't want to go through the hassle of court, but you're willing to go through the drama of picketing.  
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:29:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By cayau:
Long story short, I have a client (I am a sub-contractor on this one) for whom we built a staircase. This is in a multi-million dollar new home, and the design was such that it really is an art piece. I provided a cost estimate but only agreed to do the job by the hour plus materials, this was clearly communicated and agreed to by the owners. Well, wouldn't you know it, but now that it's complete and they have moved in they have decided that they don't want to pay the remaining difference from the original estimate. They are not disputing the hours, nor the quality of the work, they just don't want to pay the 11k they owe.

To my point: I am not going to pursue court action, in my opinion it is wasted time that I could spend making money instead of chasing money I may never see, or only see a portion of, making the loss even greater. What I am considering, is informing them that I will be picketing their home if they don't honor the deal we made and pay the bill. I don't want to do anything that is unethical, but am frankly pissed that they see no problem screwing me out of what is owed. What are the hives thoughts? Ridicule is, after all, mans most potent weapon....
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I'm detecting a contradiction.

Which is better for the general public to know, they're shit customers or you can be ripped off and won't do anything about it?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:30:20 AM EST
The high road is to file the lean. Then wait.

Being a new house sound like they probably will refinance once they are settled, the lean will stop that until your paid.

The other fun option is if you have a website, post lots of pictures of your work. Clearly state the address of the work, with a small comment of still waiting to be paid due to the homeowner refusing to pay. Something along the lines of

" And here is our custom cherry staircase we installed at 123 main st anytown, While the home owner agreed to and loves the job we did we are still waiting for final payment pf $11,000 and the house is currently under a builders lean"
Then some more pics and details about the stairs.

Let google do the picketing for you. THIS is the low road.

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:30:51 AM EST
Lien.
I have had to do this in the past. If they take out a loan against the house or try to sell, you will get paid.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:31:45 AM EST
Go to court.  If you have a solid contract it should be an easy win.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:33:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By cayau:
Long story short, I have a client (I am a sub-contractor on this one) for whom we built a staircase. This is in a multi-million dollar new home, and the design was such that it really is an art piece. I provided a cost estimate but only agreed to do the job by the hour plus materials, this was clearly communicated and agreed to by the owners. Well, wouldn't you know it, but now that it's complete and they have moved in they have decided that they don't want to pay the remaining difference from the original estimate. They are not disputing the hours, nor the quality of the work, they just don't want to pay the 11k they owe.

To my point: I am not going to pursue court action, in my opinion it is wasted time that I could spend making money instead of chasing money I may never see, or only see a portion of, making the loss even greater. What I am considering, is informing them that I will be picketing their home if they don't honor the deal we made and pay the bill. I don't want to do anything that is unethical, but am frankly pissed that they see no problem screwing me out of what is owed. What are the hives thoughts? Ridicule is, after all, mans most potent weapon....
View Quote


Washington, eh? You're gonna let what's probably some rich, entitled, tech libtard piss down your back and tell you it's rain?

They agreed to pay. Lein the property and black ball them in the contractor community until they pay up.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:34:12 AM EST
Picketing seems childish and vindictive...a bigger waste of time with less chance of payout or regret on their part than small claims or a lien against them.

High road? That's not the high road, that's a tantrum that's taking time away from you earning more money with customers that pay.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:36:09 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote


In your state can you put lean on a vehicle they own and force the sale of?

Protest? Why not. Are you a minority?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:36:59 AM EST
Lol, through the front door with a tow chain, hook to staircase, repo your work?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:37:49 AM EST
Lein

Fuck his wife

Upper decker

Send dead fish in the mail

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:38:39 AM EST
Lien the property.

What they did is complete, total unmitigated bullshit.

They are playing you for a sucker. It's also what liberals tend to do. "I don't live here anymore so I don't have to pay for the improvements."
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:39:26 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote


This.  If you have not missed deadlines, serve lien notices, and file your lien claim.  Depending your state law you then have time before you have to foreclose in court (2 years in WI).  
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:39:26 AM EST
I'd wonder about how much the homeowner owes the GC.  Chances are you're BOTH getting screwed.  Either way, it's not an issue between you and the owner, it's between you and the GC.  If he has any decent amount of integrity, then he'll pay you what you're owed, and sue the owner for what HE'S owed.  

File a lien against the property.  The homeowner WILL have to refinance as he'll likely have a construction loan, and an agreement with his lender to convert that into a regular mortgage once the house has received its Certificate of Occupancy.  They won't be able to write the new mortgage until all liens are cleared up.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:42:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2021 9:49:10 AM EST by JRCmx]
Attachment Attached File

Did the plumber use these?
They unscrew from inside the wall from the outside.
Pull the electrical meter too, no heat.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:44:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2021 9:47:44 AM EST by Justin-Kase]
First talk to a lawyer (or two) with experience filing liens and working construction cases to see if you have an enforceable contract. Lien laws sound simple but t's and i's need to be properly crossed and dotted.  

Every lawyer thinks they know the law (major ego) but few actually know what they are doing if they haven't handled lots of similar cases. So make sure the lawyer has that experience.

If the lawyer says your contract is enforceable file a lien. If they still don't pay, file suit. As soon as they are served they will have to hire their own lawyer who is going to ask them for $5 or $10k to get started. Looking at a legal bill in excess of your bill they will likely pay up.

Now if they are pissed about the work or the overage from the estimate they may spend the money to fight.

It all depends on how good your contract is.
And you won't know that without a GOOD lawyer's advice.

Edit - Be quick about this, some states have deadlines that you have to mail demand for payment and legal demand notices.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:45:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote
FPNI

you may get a check in 4 years when they divorce and have to sell.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:45:58 AM EST
I'll say this...

30% overage is a lot.

Especially given that you KNEW going in to it that you were expecting overage, hence why you demanded hourly.

This means, your estimate, by your own admission, was low.  Why?

You should have quoted what the work would likely take - not "well, if all the stars align".

Make no mistake - they owe you, but you did yourself no favors with the bid.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:45:59 AM EST
11K for a rich person is pocket money. The guy is just an asshole. Treat him as such and do what you need to do.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:46:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote

Yep.

What does your contract specify for payment and material cost?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:47:00 AM EST
walk on the sidewalk in front of the house with a giant copy of the overdue invoice that shows the balance due
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:47:55 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cayau:
I am a sub, and do have a contract, and yes, I should go after the GC as well, BUT: he is a great guy who we have done a lot of work for who is also getting a nice long tender dry lovin' from this client as well. I would just be piling on him, I won't kick him when he's down....
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cayau:
Originally Posted By p229s:
Well if you're the subcontractor on this project, then your beef would be with the GC...not the Owner. You would not have a contract with the owner if you're a sub. Presumably, you have a contract with the GC.
I am a sub, and do have a contract, and yes, I should go after the GC as well, BUT: he is a great guy who we have done a lot of work for who is also getting a nice long tender dry lovin' from this client as well. I would just be piling on him, I won't kick him when he's down....


Please don’t take this the wrong way, but are you new at this?  

Usually after 5-10 years in any service business, you have dispute resolution down cold.

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:49:13 AM EST
Send to a collection agency...let them harass them. At least you may see some of your money, but without much effort on your part.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:53:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FG24U:
Lien.

Ultra rich fucks try doing this BS pretty frequently in the yachting industry. Never works if you cover your ass.

Depending on the marina ownership the boat owners were made to apologize face to face with the business owners they tried to screw before their boat was released.
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I agree with this.

Liens are often the best way.

Court costs money and has risks.

The lien may take a year for them to pay, but they will definitely pay at some point.



Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:00:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sherrick13:
Go to court.  If you have a solid contract it should be an easy win.
View Quote

And don't forget filing expenses.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:03:15 AM EST
$36,000 staircase ends up at $47,000? If you knew you would be over on the estimate why not give them an estimate of $42,000?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:08:22 AM EST
Lien the property.

A lot of wealthy people get that way, in part, by being trained to negotiate everything, and renegotiate after the work is done. The only way to deal with such people is to file a lien. You *WILL* get your money, eventually, when they sell or die and the state has to be settled.

Do. Not. Let them screw you.

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:08:30 AM EST
Is this that silo thing?
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:08:32 AM EST
Sawzall out the bottom 6 stairs and take them home
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:10:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote

If your state allows this
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:11:37 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By burnka871:
We're not talking about 1100 man. It's 11000.

Get your fucking money.
View Quote

This times a million.
The stories I could tell about cheap rich people, its a game to them, it's not even really about the money.
It's about winning. They can pay 1200 for a bottle of wine and try to negotiate me down 35.00 on a 635.00
invoice...
Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:12:40 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ToledoXJ:
Is this that silo thing?
View Quote

OP may be getting roasted, but he's been actually set on fire.  

You're thinking of our resident Highlander @SCW
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:17:34 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By merchantoffreedom:
Lien the property.
View Quote


Fpni.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:18:54 AM EST
Go back and "doctor" that staircase

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:19:26 AM EST
For future reference, your contract should include interest at 18% or the maximum allowed by state law and allow for the recovery of attorneys fees if collection is required. Then you get paid to win.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:21:48 AM EST
Fuck his wife and if he has a daughter who is 18 or older fuck her too and shame them in front of their rich friends.  If you are gonna send a message then go for the gold.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:22:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2021 10:24:02 AM EST by moose568]
Rent a billboard in the neighborhood with his picture and address calling him out or park a truck in front of his house with a sign in the bed.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:22:24 AM EST
Meh...
If I hired a professional general contractor, who then hired a professional stair builder, and between those two got a 'quote', and that quote had some sort of ambiguous caveat that it might not be accurate so you might pay more (because if it was less, would those savings be passed on?), I'd expect them to honor the quote.

You guys were the professionals quoting the costs, not the homeowner.  The homeowner had a reasonable expectation that you two knew how to estimate.  Just because they are rich and can afford your mistakes doesn't mean they should.

Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:24:02 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:24:25 AM EST
for $500 i would do a whole bunch of non - COC compliant things.  

and then I would go scorched earth.

for 11 grand??????????   Holy fucking shit.  it would be Balkan Wars #876 and then I would get angry.

Grow a pair.  Or word will get around that you can be taken and you'll get lots of sudden new work that you are going to get fucked over on.  

JHC, did you not learn this in elementary school?  The way to beat a bully is to punch back.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 10:27:37 AM EST
Take 11k of your work back? Chainsaw time...

Or pm me if you’re in eastern Washington cause I have a remodel project getting ready to start and need to kill a spiral staircase for a traditional and need a contractor... and I pay my bills
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