Hourly Contractor vs Bid Job Dispute


Old 09-18-08, 05:38 PM
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Unhappy Hourly Contractor vs Bid Job Dispute

I hired a contractor for a re-model job on my house. We were in agreement that due to the fact that it is a log house, it would be easier to do an hourly wage for each man rather than a bid for the job. So, again agreed on an amount per hour, per man. He stated that he made money on his employees because he doesn't pay them what he was charging us per man. Fine, then he also gets the 10% contractor discount which he doesn't pass on to us. Also fine. The problem now is that the labor on the invoices he gives us never matches the hours worked, and we have asked for breakdown on the subs, electrical, drywall, etc. so we have an idea of what each costs but he never gives them to us and just charges a lump sum. Now that we have questioned the hours in the time periods, he is saying that the difference over and above the hourly amount is "overhead, profit, administrative and taxes" (upon which he also charges sales tax) So for the last time period I am paying for each man hour, $13.00 more than what was agreed upon and this time period, $8.00 more per hour. Maybe next time it will be $25.00 more per hour at this rate....I told him today that I wanted a meeting to go over it all with both partners as the other one apparently does the books. I am pretty sure I am getting hung out to dry but somebody tell me if I am wrong.

Last edited by Sue54; 09-18-08 at 05:52 PM. Reason: verbage/misspelling
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Old 09-18-08, 06:01 PM
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I'm no lawyer, but I'm smelling some potential fraud. Hang in there, and hopefully someone else will chime in.
Old 09-18-08, 07:49 PM
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It sounds as if the contractor was able to get the terms of the job in his favor.
A time and material job will only work if you sign off on the hours worked daily.
I have a hunch that there isn't a decent written contract on the terms you have just described.

If you feel that he is being less than honest I suggest you ask him to leave and consult a lawyer.
Old 10-06-08, 10:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Contractor ripoff

Yup. You need a lawyer. Was there a written contract? I suspect not and that is why you find yourself where you are on this.

You have a couple of choices.

1) you can sue him. Depending upon the amount involved you may be able to do it in small claims court without an attorney. You tell the judge your tale and if you get a judgment against the guy, there is always the question if he is even collectible.

2) Report him to local authorities to determine if this rises to the level of criminal fraud. Even then the prosecutor may not want to pursue this.

3) Report this guy to the state Attorney General. Again this may not be something they will want to pursue.

4) Report him to your local business bureau. Again they may do nothing.

5) Check if his builder's license is in good standing (or if he has one). Usually at the state level.

6) See if he is bonded. You can file a claim against the bonding company. Then it is up to the company to chase this guy down. I suspect he has no bond.

This experience teaches a valueable lesson.

One word of caution. Be careful that he hasn't put a lien on your property. If he won't remove it, see option one above.

Good Luck!

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