Do I have to pay contractor who hasn't finished work?

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Posted by: from Merritt
2/9/2016 at 11:10:12 AM

We hired a contractor to build our home but he is hardly there and when he is he never finishes a job before moving on to another, like the electrical, plumbing and flooring are not complete, but yet he has sent me an invoice and expects to be paid before he continues on.

What should I do?

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Daryl from Ridgewater Homes Ltd in Delta
Date/Time2/9/2016 at 1:06:14 PM

Review your contract. If he isn't doing the job he can be fired. But you also need proof that he is paying his subs. Contractors should push on the project so they can move to their next job, yet at the same time do a quality job. This is why we always recommend people to talk to our past clients, read our testimonials, see our work.


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James from Jaycar Homes in Calgary
Date/Time2/9/2016 at 1:25:15 PM

I agree that you should review your contract and call the sub trades that have been working on your house. A sub trade can put a lien against your property, even if you have not personally signed a contract with the sub-trade. The contractor is acting as an agent for your property, if the contractor signed a contract with the sub-trade and he doesn't pay it will come back to you.

If your contractor is getting material delivered to your house, check with the building supply company as well. They can also put a lien on your property.

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Sebastian from Direct Painting in Markham
Date/Time2/9/2016 at 1:37:10 PM

Fire him and contact a lawyer before he liens your house.

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Date/Time2/9/2016 at 3:07:53 PM

Please hold yours payments and review your contract. Be clear with him, you will hold the payment until he finishes his work.


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Date/Time2/9/2016 at 3:41:43 PM


The payment structure should be stipulated within the contract. By your question, it sounds like you either don't have a contract or it is very vague. If this is the case, set a meeting to now make a payment structure that is very clear moving forward.

I hope this helps.

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Date/Time2/10/2016 at 2:10:46 PM

Your contract should stipulate the terms, e.g. advances during construction.Be careful of liens, as others have said.Good luck toward a good resolution.

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Ruben from 905 Construction in Oakville
Date/Time2/10/2016 at 10:21:55 PM

How did you hear about this contractor? Was he referred or did you find him on the internet? Just curious. My company is the best out here in Canada and I don't know how home owners like you can't find us. If you can answer my question much appreciated.

If I were you fired the guy and find different trades to finish off your project. I hear a lot of these stories. Be your own project manager for now.

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Date/Time2/11/2016 at 5:26:41 PM

To begin, I wish all home owners and businesses would insist on references before hiring a firm of any kind.

If you speak to any of my past and present clients you will hear nothing but good things about my company.

If you have a contract that has clearly set out payments and stages of completion, then force your contractor to follow up before paying a dime more.

If you have no contract, set up a meeting and clarify what is going on. And be clear you are not happy. And be clear no funds will be paid until stages off completion have been reached. If he or she does not agree to your terms, fire them. If you are out of pocket for work not completed you can take them to small claims court.

Hope this helps, and please in the future be sure to check with past or existing clients.



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Date/Time2/12/2016 at 10:53:18 AM

Let him come over to your house. List the remaining items and the remaining payment balance, draft a new agreement with the fair payment terms and start again as a new project with caution this time

Arguments, court,.....etc. will not help!!

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