My 500sq/ft basement development taking now 12 weeks.

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Posted by: from Airdrie
8/8/2018 at 4:49:22 PM

I hired a contractor to develop my basement, however said contractor in our contract stated 6-8weeks for completion and currently at 12 weeks and still not done. days sometimes a week would go by without anyone coming to do any work, there is a serious lack of communication, promised dates to be at the house and not showing up and more. At this point were close to completion however my frustrations continue to rise with more and more little things. The quality of work seems to be ok but this project has set back plans on having that space being rented. Any suggestions on what someone should do in this situation? I had sat down with the contractor weeks ago when we were obviously not even close to completion and very clearly not going to meet deadline about cancelling, paying for what is done and moving forward with someone else, I was promised a new completion date but have now been delayed past that point again, we are ALMOST done so I don't see a point in cancelling at this point but feel lied to a cheated after voicing id find someone else.

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Date/Time8/9/2018 at 2:22:19 AM

That's a tough situation, but if you're almost done and the quality of work isn't suspect then my suggestion is to hold out and be assertively patient with the contractor. Have then finish the work, but know that moving forward you wouldn't recommend them to friends or family.

- Tim

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Date/Time8/9/2018 at 8:22:10 AM

It's a very frustrating situation, for sure, but you're near completion already, and you think the work seems to be okay, so just let him finish and move on.

It would be to costly at this point to bring someone else in to finish.

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Edith from Edot Studio in Toronto
Date/Time8/9/2018 at 9:16:46 AM

I am not sure what is stated in the contract, but what most people would do is, every day of delay in work will be penalty until they finish.

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Date/Time8/9/2018 at 11:14:45 AM

London, it is a tough decision you are making - especially when considering the quality of workmanship you have observed of your General Contractor (GC).

It appears that the two options you are currently considering are: either wait patiently for your current GC to complete the work (sacrificing time and rental income in the waiting) OR hire another GC to finish the project (investing time to secure one and additional funds to pay for the work).

Although those are the two significant options, there are other variations to consider. Do you have a current list of tasks that remain undone for this development? If not, why not consider sitting down with your GC again and put one together. It can be helpful for any future decisions required.

Do you have a contract from your GC with timeline parameters? If not, it is not too late to put one together with your GC. Ensure both of you sign and date it. Paperwork might motivate your GC to adhere to deadlines.

Do you know which sub-trades might be still required? It will help to know if you would, in fact, require a replacement GC or if you could hire a few sub-trades to finish-up the work. At Kirsch Electric, we have often been hired to finish incomplete work of another electrical company; it's not an ideal arrangement but doable none-the-less. A GC may not be needed to finish your project at this stage. Feel free to read our blog that helps you discern whether to hire a GC or be your own contractor. You might discover that you can be your own GC in these final stages.

Despite how you proceed, we leave you with a word of encouragement to persevere. You are almost done this project! You will be wiser at the end of it all and have very valuable advice for others starting a project or in a similar unfortunate circumstance.

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Date/Time8/9/2018 at 11:24:22 AM


6-8 weeks is not a realistic timeline and I'll summarize why.

Consider the following scenario:

- 2 weeks to mobilize, prep interior for framing, bring materials to site, insulation against foundation walls, and then frame the interior walls, bulkheads, etc.

- Possible time gap between end of framing and mobilization of the plumber (plumbers are very busy especially here in Vancouver). Considering the time gap, both before and after the plumbing work, account for another 2 weeks.

- Electrician and batt insulation is another week. Typically, there's a sub panel to install, upgrades to the existing electrical system, choosing fixtures and pot lights, and a layout to do.

- With another time gap between drywall boarding and electrical, account for another 2.5 weeks for drywall boarding and finishing. Multiple coats of mud with no work being done between coats (except for painting of the doors and door jambs).

- Keep in mind at this point we are 40% through the work and 6.5 weeks into the project and have not accounted for the subfloor, flooring, paint, door install, trim, millwork, plumbing and electrical finish, countertops, etc.

I can go on and on. I've done a rough timeline for your project and my schedule shows 12-14 weeks for your project. Your contractor is entirely at fault for not communicating this to you from the outset. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Pre-construction meetings and planning are absolutely necessary to avoid delays in design and to ensure a smooth delivery of services. I would cap your contractor off at 16 weeks, withhold any money until certain agreed to milestones are completed, ie flooring completed, and get rid of them if they exceed the 16 week mark.

All future assurances and promises should be said in writing and signed off by the contractor.

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Date/Time8/9/2018 at 6:28:45 PM

As long as the quality is ok as you said and it's almost done I don't see any point to get someone else to finish the job. You have to sit with him to evaluate the remaining items and he should give you a time schedule however you have to open up a communication follow up channel on a daily basis till things are done. Understand it frustrating because you need to rent the basement but it might be also the contractor has his own reason for such delays. All the best!

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Fahd in Brampton
Date/Time8/19/2018 at 10:46:25 AM

As a home owner, I have been through this situation. Problem is that most contractors have a very small or no team, Which is OK if they are working on one project at a time. Unfortunately they grab the contracts and fail to manage them. In the result they end up with starting more than one project at a time and making false promises. The best you can do is to pay not more than 10% in advance. It will keep them hungry!! Contractor here wont like the way I am saying it but they also know what home owners have to go through if are unprofessional, greedy, rude, doing cheap work.

I hope you signed the contract with them. If you didn't then you can only hope for good.

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London in Airdrie
Date/Time8/20/2018 at 6:33:52 PM

Update on this mess. We are now 3 months into developing the basement and still not completed. The quality of work looks to be going very downhill. Today I have taken pictures of the work and areas of which have been dodgy in my opinion. I have made a few attempts today to contact the developer but no response. I was told a few days ago they would be here this morning to "finish"..... I am financing this project so have only given a deposit but as per the financing the developer doesn't get a cent until I sign off on the work but at this point after being told sooo many times they would be at the house to work and not showing up, being 3 months into the project which is well beyond what the original completion date stated in our contract. I am beyond frustrated at this point

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