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Posted: 3/27/2006 3:49:17 PM EDT
As some of you may know, I am having a house built. This has been the most frustrating thing I have ever done and I almost completely blame my general contractor. We started this project in late September. We are just now finishing the rough framing. Every step of this project has been nothing but problems. If it's not the framers screwing up, it's where the block guys screwed up. My contractor is starting another business and is not giving this project any attention anymore. I have had to chew his ass out between every step of this just to get him moving. He doesn't have any of the sub-contractors lined up until the previous one is finished. We then have to wait for the next step because they end up busy elsewhere. He only wants to use his "selected" contractors because "he knows thier work and knows they do a good job". Well when it takes almost 3 weeks to shingle a 1700sq ft house, I don't think they are the best coice for the job.

We were supposed to be moved in by now. I am sick and tired of this and am ready to fire him. What kind of legal aspects should I be aware of? How would I go about doing this? Any info is appreciated.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:53:53 PM EDT
Anyone can be fired.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:56:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FieroLoki:
Anyone can be fired.



I'm more worried about any reprecussions from it. I've got people calling me every other day offering to do work for me, so finishing it myself is not a concern. I just don't want to be sued for a breech of contract or some other BS.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:56:50 PM EDT
Basically, grab your ankles and bend over. You might as well enjoy it because you wont win. Contractors, many of them suck and are unscrupulous. Many are pretty good. You just didnt find an honest one or one that cared.

I dont hire any contractors that I dont know on a personal basis. That still doesnt get the work done on time. Its not even union time, its personal contractor time. They come when they have time.

My deck was supposed to have been built in one month and it took 9. They did fabulous work so I didnt shit too much but they made me wait 8 months.

My basement actually was only a couple of months over due. But it was in the winter and they didnt have anything else to do.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:57:13 PM EDT
Well you can be sued for breach of contract if you're breaching it. Can't say without analyzing the contract. I'd ask a contract lawyer to look it over and make sure you're covered, unless you can look at your contract and it plainly says you can fire him for X reason.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:57:26 PM EDT
If he promised you to be in your home by a certain time and that has passed by more than 30 days, fire his ass. If not, give him 45 days until you move in.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:57:36 PM EDT
Fire his ass, unless the contract says you cant...
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:58:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:58:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
My contractor is starting another business and is not giving this project any attention anymore. I have had to chew his ass out between every step of this just to get him moving. He doesn't have any of the sub-contractors lined up until the previous one is finished.



Game over. Ditch the asshole.

Check your contract with your lawyer. Have another guy lined up. I wish I could give you better advice, but that's all the occurs to me right now.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:59:42 PM EDT
Always insist on a performance clause in your contracts, that way it costs the contractor money, and they really don't like that!
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:01:20 PM EDT
www.prepaidlegal.com

We started our house in October of last year and are just now finishing it up - and I thought that was slow.

You definitely have grounds to terminate your contract - seek legal advice.

But, join prepaid before you bring it up, or it will be a pre-existing and they won't handle it.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:03:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By topknot:
www.prepaidlegal.com

We started our house in October of last year and are just now finishing it up - and I thought that was slow.

You definitely have grounds to terminate your contract - seek legal advice.

But, join prepaid before you bring it up, or it will be a pre-existing and they won't handle it.



I've got access to free legal services through my employer, but I need to check that site out anyways. Thanks
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:06:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
We started this project in late September. We are just now finishing the rough framing.



Holy crap
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:09:21 PM EDT
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:11:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?



No it does not. I really wish it did though.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:13:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?



No it does not. I really wish it did though.



Who is doing your financing and what the hell are they saying?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:14:31 PM EDT
Deny payment till its done. They'll either quit themselves or do the work quick.
Always have a timed-contract (not sure on legal wording)
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:15:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By krpind:

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?



No it does not. I really wish it did though.



Who is doing your financing and what the hell are they saying?



They say that extending the financing up to one year (total length of loan) is not a big deal.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:16:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?



No it does not. I really wish it did though.





OK now you know mistake number 1, allways get a contract with a firm start and finish date, allways.

Also contact your lender, and explain the situation to them, they may be able to help get things moving, they should also be doing inspections every so often, normally when a payment is made to the contractor.



Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:18:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By krpind:

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Does your contract have a time frame in which the job is to be completed?



No it does not. I really wish it did though.



Who is doing your financing and what the hell are they saying?



They say that extending the financing up to one year (total length of loan) is not a big deal.



Fuck that....that is costing you money. Tell your contractor he is paying that added interest.
Then tell him to hit the road and hire someone with good references.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:20:36 PM EDT

If you HAVE a contract, with him, with a finish date, and it aint done....

Fuck him.


Fire his ass, and do what you want. If he didnt complete the job by the time required, sue HIM !


Too bad you probably don't have a non-completion clause in the contract. You could be fining him X number of dollars, PER DAY, for EVERY DAY he goes past the completion date....

That's how it's done in commercial construction.... The client needs a timeframe, and they're paying for it.

Sorry you're getting fucked. I see it all the time lot of shitbag so-called 'contractors' out there... Even some who don't hold a damned license ! I can think of a few off the top of my head, right now... They sure talk a big game, lying through their teeth.

Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:23:39 PM EDT
Your biggest mistake is yet to come if you don't fire his ass NOW! You will live in a half-ass built house that you will hate until the day you take a financial enema when you sell it.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:25:13 PM EDT
What general area are you located in?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:36:19 PM EDT
hell, my neighbor across the street started a small addition in october.

the contractors ripped half of the roof off of the house at the end of october and put a blue tarp on. It stayed that way for 4 months. Now they have the roof finshed w/ felt, and tyvek on the framing.

My wife is an attorney....she does commercial construction litigation. Builders are so F-ed up that she'll have clients forever.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:00:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RUSSIANCATKILLA:
What general area are you located in?



I'm building in Lapeer. Familiar with it?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:04:46 PM EDT
The single best way to get a contractors attention is the checkbook. Other than that they do not understand. Quit writing checks.



BTW take a look at all receipts from the job. When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:11:09 PM EDT
*sigh* I hate it that a few derelict builders give the rest of us a bad name..........Anyway.....


1. Call your lawyer
2. Call your lawyer
3. Ensure that all bills for work performed and materials supplied to date have been paid, and there are no outstanding liens on the property.
4. Assuming you hold title to the property, it might be as simple as executing the non-performance clause of the contract (+ legal fees, etc)
5. Assuming you don't hold title to the property, well, that's more complicated.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:11:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
The single best way to get a contractors attention is the checkbook. Other than that they do not understand. Quit writing checks.



BTW take a look at all receipts from the job. When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.



He said there really aren't any receipts. Just sworn statements. That sounds kinda fishy to me. I may do some investigating to see if some one is trying to scam me.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:26:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
The single best way to get a contractors attention is the checkbook. Other than that they do not understand. Quit writing checks.



BTW take a look at all receipts from the job. When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.



He said there really aren't any receipts. Just sworn statements. That sounds kinda fishy to me. I may do some investigating to see if some one is trying to scam me.



There should be a receipt for EVERYTHING. Contractors steal about 20% of the finished price.

Simple things such as 100 2x4's time $3.25 is not $545.36. They do crap like that constantly.

The checkbook holds the answer to your problem.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:30:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
The single best way to get a contractors attention is the checkbook. Other than that they do not understand. Quit writing checks.



BTW take a look at all receipts from the job. When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.



He said there really aren't any receipts. Just sworn statements. That sounds kinda fishy to me. I may do some investigating to see if some one is trying to scam me.



There should be a receipt for EVERYTHING.true Contractors steal about 20% of the finished price.wtf?

Simple things such as 100 2x4's time $3.25 is not $545.36. They do crap like that constantly.again, wtf?

The checkbook holds the answer to your problem.





Is the project cost plus, or a fixed contract? Please tell me you have a contract.

Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:30:54 PM EDT
Did he have you arrested for trespassing?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:16:11 PM EDT
Are you having problems with your electrical contractor? I know some friends are looking to build near there. (west of Attica) Maybe they should be looking around (they havent started yet so...) at who is contracting project around there.

Can I ask whose doing the electrical work?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:25:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 5:37:46 AM EDT by CAR-10]
I'm a conracting officer (of the non-warranted variety) and I do construction contracting, so I'll make some general observations.

- Do you have time & materials contract? It sounds like it. He's taking his time. Those types of contracts require a lot of superintendance to keep the project on schedule. The Gov't doesn't really use this type for construction.

- Do you have liquidated damages you can assess for every day the construction isn't complete past the agreed upon period of performance?

- Generally speaking, if you terminate the contract for your convenience (which is what it would be if you don't have contractual cause) you will be liable to the contractor for certain costs, possibly some profit.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:31:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 7:41:23 PM EDT by CAR-10]
Actually, after reading your post again, you need to call for some backup. At this point it is worth it to have a construction contracting lawyer take a look at your contract and your situation. The guy's milking you and it could get worse.

Did the guy provide you with bonding documentation? Payment bonds and performance bonds, I hope so. If this guy isn't paying his subs, you would become liable to pay not only the prime, but also pay his subs...whatever you are building could end up costing you double-or they'll put a lein on the property.

And if you have a cost plus type contract this guy should be providing you with invoices and payrolls. That's what I'd demand.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:42:38 PM EDT
Your not in the UP, are you?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:51:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Remman:
Your not in the UP, are you?



Lapeers East of Flint and North of Detroit on 24 (North of I69)
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:57:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Remman:
Your not in the UP, are you?



Lapeers East of Flint and North of Detroit on 24 (North of I69)
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:58:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RUSSIANCATKILLA:
Are you having problems with your electrical contractor? I know some friends are looking to build near there. (west of Attica) Maybe they should be looking around (they havent started yet so...) at who is contracting project around there.

Can I ask whose doing the electrical work?



I don't know who's doing the electrical yet. All I can say is from the performance of his subs so far, I wouldn't hire anyone he recommends. I'm begining to wonder if he pushes to use his own contractors so that he can skim some off the top himself. The more and more I think about it, the more and more angry I get !!
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:02:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RUSSIANCATKILLA:

Originally Posted By Remman:
Your not in the UP, are you?



Lapeers East of Flint and North of Detroit on 24 (North of I69)



My family is just finishing a log cabin south of Iron mt on the Menomonee river, and we too are having problems with our contracter being a idiot. Thank god we are about 2 weeks from completion. Thank god.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:06:14 PM EDT
1: sorry bout the double post, computers actin up on me. (anyone know how to delete a post?)
2: I'm IM'ing you with a "tip"
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:14:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
Actually, after reading your post again, you need to call for some backup. At this point it is worth it to have a construction contracting lawyer take a look at your contract and your situation. The guy's milking you and it could get worse.

Did the guy provide you with bonding documentation? Payment bonds and performance bonds, I hope so. If this guy isn't paying his subs, you would become liable to pay not only the prime, but also pay his subs...whatever you are building could end up costing you double-or they'll put a lein on the property.

And if you have a cost plus type contract this guy should be providing you with invoices and payrolls. That's what I'd demand.




There was a builder around here pulling that type of scam last year. He had at least 3 large houses going on at the same time. The builder was submitting receipts to the banks to pay the subs...except he pocketed the money and never paid the sub contractors. Most the way through the projects the builder disappeared taking over $100,000 from bank accounts from each of the projects and not paying any of the bills. The owners were out that $100,000 and then all the sub contractors started sending the owners bills for the $100,000 they weren't paid and notices that liens were put on the house meaning they couldn't close. The bottom line was unless the owners found a way to come up with another $100,000 for the house they already paid for they were never going to get it.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 9:10:42 PM EDT
I dont know. I know its on some papers that he gave us but they're in Lansing. I should be able to have them this weekend. Maybe before if I can get my buds to help me move out.

I'll try to get them to ya though.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 3:06:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.



Funny how the mistakes always seem to go THAT way, eh?
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:14:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 5:15:05 AM EDT by rebel_rifle]
I am a contractor, thank God not a home builder, but a grading contractor.

Here is some advice that may not help you right now, but hopefully will down the road when finding a new contractor.

First off, get a contract!!! If it ain't in writing, it don't mean shit. Have someone who writes up contracts to do it for you. Put in a time for completion, damages, etc., etc.

Second, make damn sure the *contractor* is *paying* *his* bills. That included materials, subs, etc. Do not pay the contractor until he can *prove* payments. This is one thing you need to worry about now. Chances are from what you describe, this guy may not be doing that. Then, after you fire him, YOU will be the one that all the material suppliers and subs will attach liens to. This will piss you and your mortgage holder off to no end. It will cause you all kinds of problems and lawsuits will probably result. More than likely you will be the one to take it up the a$$.

Get references from any contractor you are thinking of using. Make sure that they are recent references, not some from 5 years ago. Then, CALL the references, don't take the contractors word for it.

Get all change orders in writing. Find out why and ask questions. If it doesn't sound right, don't procede until you know what is going on.

Deal with a *licensed* contractor only. If in the event there are problems, you will at least have some leverage in dealing with him with regulatory agencies.

Also, make damn sure that they have liability insurance and most importantly workmans comp. insurance. You do not want any of his workers getting hurt and then suing you because the contractor does not have workmans comp. All you have to do is ask for a certificate of insurance. This will come to you from his agent. It will give the limits he has and the expiration of the insurance as well.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:31:19 AM EDT
The contractors, who framed my grandparent’s house, uncle's house, and a friend’s garage, would have a 1700sq ft house done in about 3 days max. They had three people, two brothers and a helper. They framed my grandparent’s house in one week, 5000 sq ft, and the friends two car garage in one day, including putting shingles on the roof. There are very few quality hardworking honest contractors like this anymore, in fact my parents have been through 3 contractors trying to finish renovating, and 2 of them deserve to be sued.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:47:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
The single best way to get a contractors attention is the checkbook. Other than that they do not understand. Quit writing checks.



BTW take a look at all receipts from the job. When I built my house I found $20,000 in adding mistakes. As in over paid.



He said there really aren't any receipts. Just sworn statements. That sounds kinda fishy to me. I may do some investigating to see if some one is trying to scam me.



Trying to scam you? Buddy, you're getting hosed.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:58:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:

Originally Posted By RUSSIANCATKILLA:
Are you having problems with your electrical contractor? I know some friends are looking to build near there. (west of Attica) Maybe they should be looking around (they havent started yet so...) at who is contracting project around there.

Can I ask whose doing the electrical work?



I don't know who's doing the electrical yet. All I can say is from the performance of his subs so far, I wouldn't hire anyone he recommends. I'm begining to wonder if he pushes to use his own contractors so that he can skim some off the top himself. The more and more I think about it, the more and more angry I get !!



Duh. Along with the materials cost. Check the receipts in addition actual costing errors you will also find materials never use on your house. From what I've seen they skim enough supplies out of every 4 to 5 houses to build another house with none of their own money. All it takes is a few 2x4's a day and couple of sheets of plywood a day.

You need to sub-total each line and then add up to the total. Don't just take it that the numbers are right. Also look at what and how much is purchased. Also how big is the scrap pile.

You have to watch them like a hawk.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:11:27 AM EDT
We've been through the same thing you think you have problems now wait till you need warrenty stuff done good luck getting them back. I think these builders have so many irons in the fire they get overwhelmed and go where the money is. The contract I had stated I couldn't sue them any dispute had to go to arbitration....good luck with that. I also think we got fucked building because we did know what we were doing don't get me wrong but come to find out everyother house they have built around here EVERYONE'S lower level was finished off 6 panel doors etc. we've been here 2 yrs and the carpeting that was supposed to be "TOP OF THE LINE" is coming apart. I'm happy we built we paid 189,000 today it's worth 217,000. If I knew then what I know now. Then again if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:15:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Carhlr:
If I knew then what I know now. Then again if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle



Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:39:55 AM EDT
I feel for you! My Wife and I had a builder for our house. He backed out on us at the last minute when we had the building mortgage money approved. I became the general contractor. I have found out that unless your on these guys ass all the time they will drag their feet and try to bull shit you. You can't be a nice guy! I was fortunate that my Dad who had just retired as a expiditer for a large construction company. He would swing by to make sure that the guys showed up. I turned grey during the time our house was built.
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