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Major renovation job - poor quality finishes. Can I withhold partial payment?

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Posted by: from Toronto
5/8/2020 at 6:50:45 AM

We hired a contractor to do a major renovation/rebuild for house. It cost over 500k. We have a contract but it's very vague (lesson learned). It's been a horrible experience. We've had many arguments with this contractor over scope of work and extras. The project has also been delayed for over a year. It's finally done, but I have serious issues with the quality. Poor quality finishes. We hired an independent home inspector that came up with a 30 page report on all the deficiencies. I have spoken to them about these issues in detail. They fixed some issues and touched up some areas, but I'm nowhere near satisfied. They also haven't fixed the major issues like uneven flooring. They say everything was completed based on standards and guidelines. We have paid them 95%. They keep chasing me to pay the rest. They even said that no work will be done until I pay the rest. But I refuse to pay the rest until I'm completely satisfied. Do I have this right? If they take legal action, do I have any rights? This project has given us so much stress over the past year.

REPLIES (4)
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Dave from 360renos in Ottawa
Date/Time5/8/2020 at 10:04:55 AM

Good morning Chris,

You need to retain a lawyer that understands construction and residential construction contracts asap.

Cheers

Dave

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Date/Time5/8/2020 at 10:07:51 AM

Hi Chris

Do not pay them another penny.

If you paid them over 95% and you have that many deficiencies

the work will not be completed.

You can take legal action agsusbt them.

If he is only owed 5%, it is imperative he completes all the work in a reasonably satisfactory manner, otherwise, you are going to get caught again in a situation where the work will never be completed.

You should try to recoup a lot of money back and get someone else to repair the work properly,

or give them a last chance and consult a solicitor.

Regards

Paul

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Date/Time5/8/2020 at 10:10:04 AM

As long as your request are reasonable then you have every right if you need any advice or further help what number is 613 243 5684

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Date/Time5/8/2020 at 10:11:22 AM

Im very sorry to hear about your situation, we can imagine the stress it has and currently is causing you.

You are legally entitled to a 10% hold-back that would be due at substantial completion. Now what would be considered "substantial" is a bit of a grey area. Make sure to maintain a written record of your conversations with your contractor. If they refuse to work they would then be in breach of contract and you could use that to ykur benefit.

Best of luck,

Marko Furlani

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