Need Advice: Problem with Contractor

Question Icon
Posted by: from Toronto
5/15/2018 at 11:18:07 PM

Hi everyone.

To start off, I'm just going to say that I am not too familiar with the technicalities of construction work. However, I am willing to learn. Long story short, my dad had been planning to renovate our house. After months of planning, it was decided that the job would only take 4 months to be completed. 4 months go by and it's not finished. There were some issues so my dad extended the date. However, they were still unable to meet the deadlines even after extending them multiple times. Almost 10 months later, we are still looking at uncompleted work. My dad and the contracter had maintained a healthy relationship for the majority of the time, but during this 10 month period, my grandma had passed away. After this, my dad was very anxious and just wanted our normal lives back. Some tension developed between my dad and the contractor and now he is threatening to walk off the job. The contractor claims he can finish the job in 2 weeks (to meet the final deadline we gave him), however my dad is aware there are still too many things to finish and he's worried about any damages that could be caused by rushing to get the job complete within the date (there were some apparent damages done already). On top of that, our lease ends this month and if the house is not completed by then, we won't have a place to stay. My dad has been very stressed out about this and I hate seeing him go through this. Any advice on what we can do from here?

User Icon
Date/Time5/16/2018 at 7:31:45 AM

Hi Freddie,

This is tough tough to hear. I don't know what the delays would amount to 6+ months but hear is some advice to help finish off this project.

Finding another reputable licensed contractor last minute to finish items may cause more of a delay. Here is some suggestions to help you out.

1) Have a written detailed list of remaining items/deficiencies to be completed with a sign off beside each item so both parties are happy with the work.

2) Set out a timeline for remaining work and include a fine for everyday the contractor is over. You can take that out of the final payment. That fine should cover you/dads housing costs. If the contractor wants to keep his relationship he should have nothing to hide and complete remaining items on time frame.

3) make sure you have everything documented and start seeking legal help.

4) Make sure all permits are closed and have been inspected accordingly to schedule. Building, plumbing, hvac and electrical.

Hope this helps.

User Icon
Date/Time5/17/2018 at 7:14:20 PM

release the contractor .if he is not tired ,your family are .Talk to your father about getting a new contractor.fresh start for everyone .goodluck

User Icon
Date/Time12/30/2019 at 7:35:09 PM

Hi Freddie,

Probably best to terminate the "arrangement " and hire someone PROFESSIONAL. May be a pain, but seems like you guys just keep digging that hole deeper.

Change work orders should have always been written detailing any time extensions & associated costs.

Seems like this company was not legitimate from the beginning! 4 monthsturns into 10+ months...???

Your father is too nice of a a fault.

Wish I lived in TO to help you out.

Best of luck.

User Icon
Date/Time1/7/2020 at 8:22:43 PM

Hello Freddie

Agree with every contractor above if the scenario is severe

A couple things to ask. Is the contractor not finishing because hes busy or is he not finishing because he's making mistakes and fixing them, OR is he taking to long because he is slow but still is ok in the quality OR last but not least he has been stringing you along and lying. Lets hope its not the last one.

If flags have been raised and hes there all the time and its taking unusually long, I would find another contractor that can be up front with you about how things are going.

There are quite a few scenarios and I hope you guys were able to figure it out

Good Luck and Happy new year to you and your family

User Icon
Date/Time5/2/2020 at 10:07:38 AM

you got a really really bad contractor..always use written contracts with timelines in writing that way you can easily fire them if it goes south, never pay money up front unless work already done..unfortunately you are probably screwed, it costs alot of money and time to sue a contractor and you don't have either..write it off as a learning exp and be prepared next time..also why are you renovating a lease?

User Icon
Melange in New York
Date/Time1/28/2021 at 12:15:25 PM

You have a really bad experience with the contractor. Do release this contractor and hire a new contractor. Be sure that hire a professional contractor this time.

User Icon
Ben in Texas
Date/Time6/9/2021 at 12:18:56 PM

The best thing to do is to drop the contractor and look for a new contractor who is responsible for his work.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors