Horrible Paint Contractor, Need Advice


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Old 02-28-09, 08:57 PM
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Horrible Paint Contractor, Need Advice

Hello, I hired a painting contractor to paint the inside of my house and they are HORRIBLE. PLEASE ADVISE.

Let me say first, that I did get references from the contractor and checked them and they checked out fine. I also interviewed the contractor at length and I was involved in the making the terms of contract. They started the job about 2 weeks ago and at first they seemed to be doing a good job. But as they progressed I noticed they were making many mistakes (not following the terms of the contract) and doing very poor quality work.

When I confronted them they stated that they would fix the mistakes. But, after they fixed some of the mistakes, they looked worse then they did before. A few days later and many more problems, I confronted them again, and this time their response was, "it's all my fault", because I won't let them work in peace. The next day they picked up their tools and said they weren't returning. I told them that was fine. I documented in writing and took photos of all of the deficiencies and short comings of their work. I also hired another contractor to give me a quote to fix all of their mistakes and finish what they didn't do. The new contractor agreed the the work was done very poorly. I notified them a few days later with what I feel was a very generious offer of $3000. The original quote was for $4200. They refused to accept it. I should add, that I have not paid them anything, as yet. My wife wants me to resolve this but the contractor is being unreasonable. I made a very reasonable offer already that he refused. Any suggestions on how I should handle this would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Old 03-01-09, 04:51 AM
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You might need to get a lawyer involved

It's good that you documented everything in with pics. What percentage of the work is done? Did your other contractor say how much it would cost to fix the previous contractors work?
 
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Old 03-01-09, 05:59 AM
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What amazes me is that they had the nerve to talk to you that way in your own home. When my customers ask me about anything, especially after I've started the job, I always take the time to talk with them. The homeowner is my boss and they are going to write the check and they deserve every courtesy I can extend to them.

It's good that you haven't paid them anything and that you've documented everything. They took their tools without completing the job and refused to come back. To me, they didn't fulfill their part of the contract, and therefore voided it. I would find someone else, that's very reputable in your area, to finish the job, and like Mark said, maybe contact an attorney just to make sure that your rights are protected.

It's companies like these that make homeowners skeptical of the rest of us.
 
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Old 03-01-09, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
You might need to get a lawyer involved

It's good that you documented everything in with pics. What percentage of the work is done? Did your other contractor say how much it would cost to fix the previous contractors work?
Consulting a lawyer is good advice as every state has it's own rules for non payment to a contractor for poorly performed work. In your favor is your willingness to give them a chance to fix their work, which they were not able or willing to. A simple argument to a contractor is, after you find an aspect of their work you like, you ask "Am I being charged the same amount for this (poorly performed area) as I am for this (correctly performed area)? When the contractor answers yes, you simply say "well then I would like this to look like this." Simple and to the point. If you have not paid them and they have not asked or invoiced you to be paid, I wouldn't worry about it, they have abandoned the job. If they have invoiced you, (which how could they, they haven't finished it) you have made and offer and it was refused, then I would see your lawyer. My wife once took her car to Meineke to have the brakes fixed, it came home sounding like a tractor trailer truck trying to stop. She went back and was confronted with the same attitude as you. She took it to a different Meineke, they fixed the problem and gave us a customer service number to call, and the manager of the faulty workmanship place was let go. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself.

Please let us know how this goes,

Billy
 
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Old 03-01-09, 09:28 PM
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Thank you all for your responses, I really appreciate them. The full story is actually worse than what I described here on the forum. Here are just a few examples: contractor, left combustable solvent and oil stain covered rags laying around after he left for the day. Left wet rags overnight on hard wood floor, damaged tile floor. Did "spot" touch ups on vertually every wall, which are all very noticable, because he didn't fix obvious things like nail pops cracks etc, before he painted the walls.
The lawyer route is one option, but it's not one that I particularly like. I rarely hear that lawyers are a big help in cases like these and there is also the expense that can easily get out of hand. More often cases like these are handled in small claims court, where often justice is a coin toss at best and usually the best lier win. Anyway, one of my other concerns is this is causing my wife stress and thats not fair. So, I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I want to resolve this for my wife's sake but I'm also really tired of unscrupulous contractors.

Regards
 
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Old 03-02-09, 05:01 AM
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Again has the contractor billed you? If not don't worry, he may have just cut his losses and moved on, if so consulting a lawyer to keep your ducks in a row is all I was suggesting. Then if he takes you to small claims court, you'll be ready.
 
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Old 03-02-09, 07:38 AM
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Wow, well this is my personal opinion because this is what I would do. I would NOT pay him anything, if you haven't already. He also needs to make good on your damaged floor/s. If he damaged it, it's his responsibility to fix it and why should you be stuck putting out money to repair it?
Let him be the one that pays the legal fees to try and get the money from you, and I can't see any judge siding with him.
It's good you have all the documentation and photos.
I agree with Bigg_Billy, that he may have cut his losses with this one and you'll never get a bill.
Good luck!
 
 

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