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Do I have to pay the final balance for poor quality work?

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Posted by: from Brampton
11/30/2017 at 3:16:58 PM

Hello,

I need your opinions and seeking advice.

We hired a company to build us a customized framed kitchen costing us $30k. We signed the contract in June 2017 and deposited $14k. As per contract, estimated delivery is 3 weeks. After almost six months, my kitchen is still not done. We have been living without a kitchen for almost six months. It's gotten so bad that we had to move out of our house with our 2 small children and live with my inlaws. We have been living her for almost 4 months. We constantly ask for updates and deadlines from the company. And time and time again, we have gotten excuses after excuses - compressor broke, back pain, food poisoning, etc. We have been firm but yet respectful and polite when we ask for an end date. The last time I spoke to him was in November when I called him to ask why no one is at our house working. He yelled at me on the phone and said if he gets anymore phone calls from me asking for an end date, he will not finish the job. My husband now deals with him and I refuse to speak to him.

So, we finally gave them an ultimatum last week. They have 7 days to complete the job. Out of the 7 days - 3 out 7 days were a no show from his company. No one worked at my house.

I know that my husband and I will not be happy with the quality of work when we inspect the work on the last day. Already we have seen cracks and chips on the cabinets. They even got the measurements of the countertops wrong that they had to bring it back and add 1" so there's an overhang. When it came to us, the countertop was flushed to the cabinets.

My husband and I would like to take him to small claims court. We are not planning to pay him the final balance because of the VERY late delivery and poor quality. I hate to do this but we have to hire another company to fix all the deficiencies. Plus we had to buy two air purifiers ($600 each) because they spray painted in our house and we have a 4 year old and 2 month old. We have been out of the house for almost 4 weeks and we haven't had a kitchen for 6 months.

Would really appreciate your input. I have already contacted Consumer Protection and will give him the complaint letter when we inspect tomorrow. Can I state there we won't be paying the final balance and that we can see each other in small claims court? We have been nothing but nice and respectful to this company. Even the general contractor who referred us to this company is very ashamed that he did the referral.

thanks,

Paula

REPLIES (11)
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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/30/2017 at 4:08:01 PM

File a complaint against the company and the owner.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/consumer-protection-ontario

Court sounds like the best option. Don't simply walk away, otherwise it will happen over and over. Accidents and problems arise, but these dates are simply wrong and unacceptable.

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Frank from DCLGRP in Mississauga
Date/Time11/30/2017 at 4:38:42 PM

Dear Paula - your best plan of action is Small Claims Court yes but be prepared to have all your emails - communications and ducks in a row.. Google Scott Schedule, - download template and fill it in.. it will form the basis of your case.

Second - list them as a poor trade - people like this give hard working people who care like most of us here.. a very bad name.

I am so sorry to hear this.

Sincerely,

Frank Deluca

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Date/Time11/30/2017 at 4:41:11 PM

Hi Paula,

Sorry to hear of this unpleasant experience. No you don't have to pay them the final payment. Provide reasons and defects.

When it comes to small claims, have all your documents, emails, text in order. On the the last day that these individuals are at your house, write an email stating that was there last day there in case they try to put a lien down and there is record of the last date at the house.

Defiantly take them to small claims, you can also contact the BBB (better business bureau) which they will have to answer to even though they might not be affiliated with.

Cheers Scott

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Date/Time11/30/2017 at 7:53:24 PM

Dear Paula,

My advice is not to pay.

Let them take you to court, if they have the nerve.

Best,

Andrew Parker

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Date/Time11/30/2017 at 8:17:12 PM

You can just send him a final note stating if he did not come back to finish the job in a vey limited time, you will have to hire another contractor to complete and you will bill him accordingly. Meanwhile, call consumer protection for advice 1-800-889-9768

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Paula in Brampton
Date/Time11/30/2017 at 10:32:20 PM

I really appreciate all your advice and replies.

My husband and I are writing a complaint letter to the contractor and will give it to him tomorrow and attach the notice from the Consumers Protection.

Tomorrow is his last day to finish the job. My husband and I just came from our house to inspect what was done today. I was disappointed at what I saw. Though, there were more doors and panels installed, the doors and drawers weren't closing properly. We were told today that the pull-outs for the pantry doors are on back order. It took him 6 months to put the order?!?

Again thank you for the advice. We will not pay him the balance for not fulfilling the terms on the contract that we agreed on back in June.

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Date/Time11/30/2017 at 10:34:39 PM

Paula and family;

We are very sorry to hear about your experience. In future endeavours make sure a time line is in place and a payment schedule is intact and signed. Licenced contractors are easy to verify and even though it may cost a few pennies more it is well worth it. I would file for a suite rather then small claims considering what you and your family has gone through. All the best.

Jordano Construction

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Date/Time12/2/2017 at 1:05:47 PM

This is a Prime example of Why I restarted my Construction Business. I detest this type of HACK..Ok get your advise from the consumer protection bureau, as well as BBB but they unfortunately are not very helpful. I have one concern How do they get into the house and are they being supervised while there?

Advise by letter / email his last day on site and what has yet to be done. I am not comfortable with his workmanship and it looks as though this kitchen will have to be redone. Although you may have to contact another cabinet company to quote you on the repairs, which an certain will outweigh what you owe them. LET him take you to court as this is too high for small claims.You on the other hand could sue for loss of use for 6 months ( punitive damages ) if he wants to pursue which could be 5 time what your contract was signed for. Seek a lawyers opinion on this. Even if it helps when they see a lawyers letter they usually back down.

Respectfully I only use 2 Millworking companies as they have over 75 years of combined practice.

Good luck.

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Date/Time12/5/2017 at 5:38:06 PM

You need to sue

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Paula in Brampton
Date/Time1/1/2018 at 1:53:14 AM

Thanks guys!

So it's the first day of 2018 and this kitchen is still not done. They worked in our kitchen on December 22. There are still deficiencies (wrong colour on the paint, doors not closing etc).

My husband and I are thinking of suing as many of you have suggested.

Do we hire a lawyer or paralegal? Do you have any people who you can recommend?

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Ken from Ottawa Bathrooms in Ottawa
Date/Time1/9/2018 at 10:58:02 AM

Recommendations are what got you into this mess! In Ontario normally first 30 minutes with a lawyer is free...call, ask for consult and bring all your info for him in a very organized manner

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