What exactly IS the contractor's responsibility?

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Old 06-20-09, 03:16 PM
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What exactly IS the contractor's responsibility?

Hello! Just curious as to what is and isn't a contractor's responsibility? Ok, the few times I hired a contractor (2 different guys) they pretty much left a mess and took the leftover building materials I paid for. Also, the one contractor who put in my door accidently cut past the trim and cut my paneling about 4 inches past my trim. Wouldn't it be his responsibility to have fixed it? I wasn't home when this happened and he said to my wife," Jack can just fill the hole and paint it." Well, it will take my time, money and materials to fix what he messed up. Also, since he was contracted to put in the door shouldn't he have put the trim back up around the door? I also paid the one contractor to fix a plaster wall that was covered in wallpapaer. Well, he got the idea of putting wall board compound (mud) over the wallpaper to "fix" the wallpaper defects. Well, to make a long story short he took about 2 days of mudding and 2 buckets of mud to attempt to fix my wall. Well, the wall paper under the mud began cracking and loosening the wallpaper. So, I spent 12 hours scraping off the mud and old wallpaper!! So, due to his "idea" I ended up putting about 15 hours of my own time and paying him for like 12 hours labor to do this supposed "repair". He explained to my wife that he would only charge us for 12 hours rather than the 16 he had into the wall "repair". Also, every time I have hired a contractor they have taken the leftover building materials that I paid for. Shouldn't they have asked if I wanted them first? They already charge enough as it is! OR do I need to get EVERYTHING in writing PRIOR to ANY work being done? Jack
 
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Old 06-20-09, 03:31 PM
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"OR do I need to get EVERYTHING in writing PRIOR to ANY work being done?"
BINGO!! There is too much to leave to chance. The chance they are honest workers, diligent workers, competent workers. Final payment should have been witheld until the work was finished to your satisfaction. All contracts should have a payment schedule. Don't expect him to buy all the materials without an advance, and when a mutually agreed upon mid point is reached, then another third can be issued, with the final third upon satisfactory completion.
Have communication with them and let them know the place must be cleaned up, and the left over materials (if you bought them) are to remain on site.
 
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Old 06-20-09, 03:55 PM
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Depending on where you are (yeah, I know..PA..but I don't know the rules there) a person can pay $25 for a license and advertise themselves as whatever they want.

A Contractor (Cap C) has contracts, bid sheets, insurance, etc. A contractor has a pad of paper and a good smile. Thats just my experience. Called 3 people for a block wall last year...1 I had to call back 3 times over 5 days to get a response, finally said he would be out of town. 1 showed up after 2 calls, with his daughter in the truck, said he was in a hurry to get her to dance class, wrote me a quote on a payment receipt (cause his mobile printer was out of ink). Last one called back the next day, showed up on time, gave me a card, cell number, home number, took measurements, E-mailed me the quote that night.

I asked each for a few references of recent jobs..only the last gave me any names/numbers that were any good.

All these people were recommended by several suppliers in the area.

And the crazy thing is..the last guy (who we went with) was the least cost of all 3. And he waived the 1/3 down that was on his bid since he said "I know where you live..ha-ha". The other wanted it for the material cost upfront.
Last guy even stopped by 3 months later to see if I was still happy.

Sometimes its a crap shoot I guess. Contract, specs, timelines and references..
 
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Old 06-20-09, 04:18 PM
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What made you choose this outfit?

With the kind of luck you have, either you are going to have to maybe spend more money and pay for contractors that have impecible reputations, or learn to DIY your stuff.

Why would you even pay for someone to do a job that you had to do over again?
 
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Old 06-20-09, 08:18 PM
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Ecman, I knew that question was coming!(lol) Long story short, not only is this guy a contractor but also a longtime family friend! If it had been anyone other than him their would have been more of a problem. I hadn't really complained to anyone until I posted on here. Just curious as to what others thought. And yes I have done about 70% of the work on the house I have been remodeling. Been learning as I have been going along. As we all know learning takes time and after 8 long months of remodeling I decided if I wanted to get it done by summer than I would have to hire some things out. Thanks to all for the replies and advice. I appreciate it! Jack
 
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Old 06-20-09, 11:04 PM
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Well Jack....

Im sorry to hear about your trouble. But I can give you some advice that might help you if not now ...maybe in the future
Keep in mind these are just some guidlines and a bit of just good ole fashioned experience..Ok first my guess would be(and its just a guess lol) that one common mistake you and most people make when finding contractors is..You want the convenience of One Stop Shopping lol that is... People think that hireing one cotractor to do all the different phases of work is a good thing but thats really not usaully the case.Normally if its a decent size job you would Hire a General Contractor who inturn would sub-contract out the various different parts of the job to guys that specialize in their prospective fields.For instance Im A contractor and like most contractors Im capable of doing a bit of this and that in most construction trades and can muddle my way through. But what I actually do for a living is Finish Carpentry and have for over 25yrs so you have Door Issues,need crown moulding,A new fireplace mantle, etc. Im your man. But one of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring help is Hiring "Handymen" or the "Jack of all trades" and thats a huge mistake! Sure I can hang Drywall,and Paint etc. LOL but so can you right. So unfortunately your friend may be great at one trade or another but hes not at all of them. Also Just because a person is licensed doesnt mean they are any good at thier jobMost Contractors these days (atleast in my state Ca.) dont get a specialty license for a particular trade ie;c-24,C-18 etc. they get whats known as a General B or Builders license which allows them to do several different trades even though they may not have any experience in one particular trade or another.So I guess unfortunately finding good people isnt easy but they do exist and although usually but not always they may be a bit more expensive up front ..in the long run it almost always ends up cheaper than hiring the wrong guy that I often follow onto jobs fixing what he just screwed up.
 
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Old 06-21-09, 05:21 AM
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LOL, yup, the guy is definetly a "jack of all trades"! He does it all. Doesn't specialize in one thing as you do. However, he only charges me what his boss pays him which is $15 an hour. Which I'm assuming is cheap. Sounds cheap to me anyway. Thanks for the advice! Jack
 
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Old 06-21-09, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ImHogan View Post
So I guess unfortunately finding good people isnt easy but they do exist and although usually but not always they may be a bit more expensive up front ..in the long run it almost always ends up cheaper than hiring the wrong guy that I often follow onto jobs fixing what he just screwed up.
Yes. Like in that thread in the 'toilet, sinks,...' etc., forum here, with the guy who may have to tear out his newly tiled shower pan and up the wall some, because the contractor didn't do it right.
 
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