HELP needed!

Question Icon
Posted by: from Burlington
5/15/2013 at 1:19:26 PM

We live in the Burlington Ontario area and hired a contractor to renovate our kitchen. After 4 weeks of poor work, and sometimes illegal work, they just quit the job, leaving us in a bad situation.

We do not know what to do next...any advice?


User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 2:21:05 PM

Hi Zak,

What is the status of the job? How much is done? How much have you paid out?



User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 2:48:30 PM

First you need to find someone to finish the job. As I'm sure your kitchen is not functional right now. That would be my priority.

Once you have the kitchen back together, then you can focus on dealing with your contractor. Take lots of pictures now before you get it finished, so you have proof of the work done. Just in case you need it later on.

Hopefully you have some kind of contract with this guy. Otherwise it's going to be hard to get anything from him.

User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 4:41:49 PM

Hopefully you have a written contract. If so (or even if not) you can file with Small Claims Court. It is a bit of a process but make sure you have all of your documentation including clear and detailed pictures. Have copies of all emails and other paperwork available. You should also consult with a lawyer (most do a 30 minute free consultation).


User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 5:00:12 PM

Always happens with cheapest offer acceptance (you have what you pay for).

Do you have written agreement? Did you pay them anything? Take someone to make inventory and estimate for what is done and what to do. Then, depends of situation, send them letter with your decision with date to fix it.



JMB Canpol Builders Ltd.

User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 5:35:10 PM

If you did not know and trust the contractor you should have a writen contract listing everything to be completed in the job. Any electrical work iinvolving hook ups and new lines should be sub contracted to a licenced electrician, the plumbing should have been sub contracted to a licenced plumber as well. The contractor and the subs should have proper insurance coverage.

People seem to go for the lowest bids rather than the higher quality contractors who do better work. I pay my subs well. And I make decent money as well. Everyone on my sites works hard and is picky. We all to top notch work. Thats what you pay for. Ask for referals!

I suggest you find a decent contractor to finish the job, and repair any deficiencies that are there now. Prior to that take plenty of pictures and get the opinions and comments from a decent contractor. Go after this yahoo once your place is functional and you have your life back.

I don't know what the sums are you have paid out. If in the low thousands you can go to small claims court. If the sum is larger you are looking at a civil suit. But don't let this guy get away with it.

Good luck with your kitchen.

James Fram

User Icon
Constantine from Constantine in Toronto
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 5:39:14 PM

If you do not have a written contract with them you can not do anything. You can try but you are going to spend your time without achieving anything.

You should try to hire a LICENCED contractor.

You can take photos in case you need them.

Good luck with your project.


User Icon
Michael from Nothing But Bathrooms in Toronto
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 6:13:16 PM

Hi Zak.

I agree with most comments here. But none of this is going to truly help you out of you jamb. Finding another contractor might prove a bit difficult as well. A lot of questions on both sides will need to be answered.

I would definitely evaluate the current state of the job, what is acceptable, and what needs to be re done. That is step 1. Then talk to some contractors and get this thing finished. Look for quality contractors. Check references. Get everything in writing.

Good luck !!

User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 6:26:05 PM

Hi Zak,

The situation that your in sucks, I know, because I have helped people that were going threw the same.

So here's what they did.

1- took a lot of pictures

2- document times that the contractor came and what they did.

3- got there lawyer to write a letter.

4- hire a new contractor that is able and has the proper time to set aside for you.

5- enjoy their new kitchen.

Unfortunately the people that I helped didn't receive any compensation but are now able to enjoy there life again. ( priceless )

User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 9:25:15 PM

Hi Zak,

This is typical with most of contractors today. Even on this forum the question is: What is done? And What kind of down payment did you give? That is all what they think, no one is asking what is the problem? How bad is the situation? What is involved to complete the project? Can I come over and see the existing condition? Maybe I can help. Those are the questions what should be asked from reputable contractors, but first thing we ask, how much money is in question, that is not your problem, someone is asking for help, not for accounting.

To give You proper ansver and make some sence of this one needs to see existing condition anderstand your requrements then give you inteligent assesment.

Good Luck.


User Icon
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 11:50:18 PM

Hi Zak,

My best advice to you is to get another contracter and you do have the right to get quots from three different contracters and you could reserch their companies online. They should have a website.

User Icon
Date/Time5/21/2013 at 7:31:29 PM

Hello zack,

its a stressful situation your in. if theres nothing in writing then its a waste of time and money going after them. Customers are under the false pretense that if the contractor is licenced and has referances your safe. Not so, a crook is a crook, a license dosent make him honest. And I have helped people out in your situation and when I checked closely on the referances it turned out they were friends lying for the contractor.

Unfortunately the renovation industry isn't regulated like new home building where you have to have certain standards to get and maintain your licence.

There are hundreds of excellent contractors out there with the proper insurances and insist on doing the job right, but they don't come cheap. unlike the crooks we have the over head of the proper wsib and insurances. Its better to be patient and save up the extra cost to have the good guy do the job rather than rush and get the cheap one.

So basically all you can do is look at this as an expensive lesson well learnt and get your job done by a compantent contractor. Maybe with your situation they might give you a break.

Al Bartlett

Bartlett Construction Ltd

User Icon
Date/Time5/22/2013 at 12:39:52 AM

As bad as it may sound, let this be a prime example for making choices and go with cheap contractors(or pretending contractors) I really feel for you Zak, but at the same time, somehow I get irritated every time customers gets suckered in with low baller.

As for next step, I would report about this company and spread the word to caution future customers.

Hire new contractor

Always get few estimate at minimum along with residential and commercial references as 9/10 all contractors will have experienced and linked in commercial and residential work.

Good Luck


Creo Interiors Ltd

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