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General contractor is delaying the completion of a job we hired him to do, what are our options in regards to getting the job finished or suing the contractor.

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Posted by: from Angus
9/12/2018 at 6:24:44 PM

My husband and I have hired a contractor to do some work on my front steps and parging around my house. we hired him in June and he advised that it would take 3-5 days to complete the task. He required 50% as a deposit and get material, he then requested another 30% at a half way point that he considered to be half way. He has yet to finish the parging and my front steps have 4 different colours of concrete on it as he was supposed to be doing a jewel stone design. My husband wants to possibly sue him or what other types of options would we have. We have now requested that the work be done by the of day Saturday, September 15th as we do not want to go into the 12th week for this job to be completed. We have also asked for the money to be returned if he does not complete the job. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

REPLIES (3)
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Date/Time9/12/2018 at 8:48:06 PM

This is unfortunate that the contractor has put you into this position. Do you have any written agreement with the contractor? Any paper trail indicating scope of work, price, timeframe? If so you have grounds to build a case and take them to small claims court. You will need to weigh out the time/costs involved in going that route as opposed to finding a qualified contractor to complete the remaining work. I would check if he has a business license and insurance. Essentially, unless you have strong paperwork outlining the work and timeframe it may be difficult to get far legally. However, Trusted pros has some good information that discuss coming to terms with the contractor. When this fails, a letter from a lawyer may be enough to get them to complete quickly. You may also be able to demand your down payment back legally. In addition, writing negative reviews may be helpful to protect others from also having this misfotune.

here is the link trusted pros posted: https://trustedpros.ca/articles/general-contracting/contractor-complaints

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Date/Time9/13/2018 at 6:55:20 AM

I agree 100 per cent with Aaron. We are at opposite ends of the country but we see things the same way. I am hoping for you that you have a signed contract outlining specifics such as time frame, cost, and job description.

If you have all of this in place a letter from a lawyer will usually help Failing that, you are left with no option other than court. good luck in resolving this. Ron

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Date/Time9/18/2018 at 11:59:26 PM

For future reference (& the benefit of other readers) - in order for your contractor to take any money up front he needs to be licensed and bonded as a 'prepaid contractor'. Safe to say many contractors either do not know or follow this minor technicality; don't know how well pleading ignorance would work as a defense if you end up in court.

In Alberta you can Google licensed prepaid contractors and find a government website listing all such contractors; as can be expected there are extremely few due to costs.

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