Good day folks,
I'll be as brief as I can here. On the 30th of May 2013 I hired a contractor to do a driveway install. 1 Month after hiring them they began work, (removing old asphalt, excavating new area and laying gravel). At this point I was verbally told that the project would be fully completed in 2 weeks. After 3 weeks with no contact (after repeated calls, with no answer and no returned calls) a crew came in and layed the curbs on both sides of the driveway.
Now, 2 months later I am still looking at a gravel driveway with false promises, and repeated no answers on the phone and no returned calls. No payment has been made up to this point.
Do I have any grounds to fire the contractor? If so how would I determine how much to pay for the work completed as of now?
Hire someone else.
I am assuming that you have some form of contract with your present contractor. An email quotation could be a form of contract if they have started work.
The proper procedure to resolve this is as follows:
- Get a price from another contractor to complete the work
- The original price less the completion price is the amount that you would pay the first contractor
- Advise the first contractor of the payment amount and give him a week to complete the project..IN WRITING
- If you give notice and it goes to small claims court you will likely win.
- If the first contractor gets legal advice it won't go to litigation.
A project like you have described should take a week to complete with the correct crew and suitable weather conditions.
Hope that this helps.
Yes, fire them immediately. That is completely unacceptable. We do driveway installs constantly. We did a 1800 square foot paving stone driveway in 3 weeks and that, by our standards was too long. It only takes a day to rip it up and dispose of the old concrete, which we did. The next day the materials were delivered. Then it's on to the installing which should only take a week or so. We had some serious rain get in our way but still completed the work in 3 weeks.
A driveway is something that a home owner needs on a daily basis. It needs to be planned with care and respect for their home. I'm amazed though that you were not asked for a deposit. We require 50% before work is commenced.
Again, I would hire someone else to finish the job. Get their estimate and deduct that from the previous contractors price and pay them accordingly. Maybe take off 20% for your frustration? I hope it works out. :)
I would ask another contractor to give a quote to determine the cost to complete. Factor that cost and subtract it from the agreed amount of the first contractors quote.
Send him a registered letter saying what you intend to do and how much you will be subtracting from his fee. Hand deliver it yourself or by courier (that gets a Proof Of Delivery) to his business if you wish also, that way speed up the process.
What you describe is so typical of these driveway pavers. They dig up your driveway, so you are hooked. They usually give the excuse that they cannot pave the driveway because the base has to settle, otherwise the pavement will crack. So then they don't come back for almost forever.
I believe their real motive is to capture as much business as they can by doing exactly what they did to you. Because most of us are honest and somehow feel we are obligated to have them finish the job. They do several driveways like this in a mad flurry. They hire tons of guys to do the digging, then they get rid of a lot of the crew and take their sweet time to come back and pave. (This saves them labour costs)
Personally, I would want to tell them to $&%^#%$&* and don't come back, but you may be on the hook legally because you allowed them onto your property. This action may have formed an unwritten agreement, but I am no lawyer. I believe you get one free legal call and advice from The Law Society of Upper Canada. Ask the question as to whether you are legally bound by an unwritten contract.
Also, I was told by an old timer who used to pave driveways that there a 2 procedures that must be followed to get a good paving job. 1. They must use a heavy roller and 2. The asphalt should be 3-4 inches thick. I highly double these fly-by-night guys are going to do either.
Something else I have observed about road paving. If you notice when they pave up north, they rip up the road one day and then pave it the next. They don't have time to waste because they are usually doing such large areas of road. Therefore, nothing needs to settle. They use a heavy roller and thicker asphalt.
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