My contractor did a terrible job in my new home, and refuses to fix the problems but wants the rest - 40% money.

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Posted by: from Toronto
2/2/2014 at 1:05:44 AM

My renovation guy delayws the project for more then 2 months (he said it will be finished in 5 days.)

He did a terrible job on my new house. The lippage between some marbles he installed on my main floor were over 2 mm (about 10 pieces), and he damaged my entire main floor's wall. Also, he did some patch up but not the same colour....(can tell that within 5 meter). He also wasted my marbles (Originally, I bought 15% extra marbles due to his estimation, but later on he asked me to buy another 30% more, since he wasted so many.

He agreed to fix some of the lippage between the marbles, but 2 weeks ago he claimed that the project is finished, and ask me for the rest 40% money, refuse to fix the problem and damage on my wall. I asked him to fix the problems and damage on my wall, but he never contacted me until 2 days ago, and asked me for the money. (I still own him 4100).

So I did a renovation inspection, and the report shows the renovation guy did a bad job. The damage on the wall paint may cost me around 1500 and fixing the lippage will also cost me a couple hundred.

So what should I do guys? Should I get another contractor to finish the fix and pay my renovation guy the difference? (since I do not want this guy do the fix anymore). How can I suspend his license? (I did not check if he has a license).

Any tips are helpful, thanks guys.

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Date/Time2/5/2014 at 10:15:09 PM

If there was no contract signed then there isn't much to do. I would not pay him unless he fixes everything to your standards for the amount you owe him and nothing more.


RCN Construction

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time2/6/2014 at 10:42:37 PM

Every one who hires a person and allows them into their home to do work MUST check their information and licensing prior to hiring. You wouldn't go to a dentist who works in their basement, why allow a complete stranger into your home without finding out who they are first and give them your money and materials to "test" their skills?

Sadly people are learning hard lessons and until the government steps up and does something, people will continue to waste their time and money on these cowboy builders.

I posted 2 other areas for these links, but here it is again.


Do not pay him anymore money, he wasted your money and materials. Get legal advice. It is one thing to take a business to court for wrongly misleading a customer, but a man with no real business, there is no law in him laying tile for you. If he a does not know what he is doing, the end result is your loss in most cases.

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Date/Time2/7/2014 at 9:18:12 AM


Sorry for your problems.

First you have done the right thing and covered your butt so to speak.

Second unless things have changed in the GTA since I've been there, you need a license to operate as a contractor, and show your # on your truck.

Third thing, All contractor must carry a warranty on there work, unless stated in writing (exclusions)


Send him a reg. letter with your intent, and a short time frame 1 week normally works, you must prove you gave him an chance to repair the work (most of the time they don't respond).

Get 3 estimates to repair the work (you don't have to take the lowest) and get it done.

Calculate all of the other expenses you have incurred. Do not include aggravation.

Calculate 10% of the total job (hold back for warranty)

Add them all together ( probably what you owe him) anything remaining hold in trust., if he's stupid enough to lien your house, let him, and have a lawyer (that part sucks) prepare a counter claim and present it to the court. Small claims is about procedure not being fare.

Hope this helps.

John R. Miller

Superior Handyman

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Date/Time2/7/2014 at 8:11:35 PM

The first thing that should be done is to document the work (with pictures, reports etc.). Do not fix or correct anything until this has been done. Make sure the information is factual and refers to the scope of work or agreement etc. Do not mention anything that is not on the scope of work as it is irrelevant, such as items the contractor said he would do while he was on site, but were not in writing.

Send the contractor a registered letter clearly (and objectively) outlining the deficiencies with the work (quoting the contract, scope of work or any other paperwork that was provided), outline your intended resolution (hiring another contractor) and advising him that the cost to correct the work to your satisfaction will be deducted from the remaining balance of the agreement. As suggested, do no deduct anything for your aggravation and make sure that NO additional work or any upgrades of the work quoted are done. Insure that you document the work and the cost and send a detailed accounting and the balance (if any) to the contractor. It is unlikely that he will take any action, however you need to cover the bases in case of a lien or suit to recover the money.

Keep in mind that correcting the work may cost more than the remaining balance which is owed as it is quite ofter more costly to fix challenges than it is to do them right the first time. If you want the work done properly by a reputable contractor, do not assume they can fix everything for the amount that is outstanding, The challenges with the first contractor were not their fault and they should not be put into the middle of the situation, nor should you expect them to fix the problems for the balance remaining (it may work out that way, but do not assume so).

In future, check references, look at examples of the contractors work, call previous customers etc. Far too many clients simply pick a contractor based on the lowest price without factoring in all the variables. In my opinion, character counts for everything, problems do happen during any renovation, having a contractor that takes care of them properly and stands behind his/her work is worth their weight in gold.


TImberidge Carpentry Inc.


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Date/Time2/21/2014 at 6:56:38 PM

Don't pay a dime.

I am so tired of hearing this. I got two calls from people who did not hire us cause we cost more for a top service now want to hire me for a quote for their lawyers. IF IT IS CHEAP EXPECT TO GET RIPPED OFF!!!!! PAY THE RIGHT GUY THE RIGHT PRICE AND GET IT DONE RIGHT!!!!

That being said fire the bum and sue him...but if you had no contract forget about getting anything.


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