Fired Contractor Yesterday....Very upset....Rant.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by fivesue, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Ah, the saga of our house building....

    Two contractors who didn't cut it. Now we have the plans, permits, a date to start, and the contractor can't come through.

    DH is very upset...I'm just a bit numb. I have been ready to fire this guy for months now, but have tried to stay positive. It came to a head yesterday.

    All we wanted was a price...the first thing that one should have long before this point. And all we got was bad mouthed.

    Anyway, I will be on the phone today...very tired of the whole thing right now.

    Any one who prays, please pray that we will be given a clear direction at this point.

    I'm ready to sell the whole thing and move on. I don't even want to deal with this at all anymore. Just too hard. It shouldn't be this hard to get someone to build a house especially in this housing market. I am angry at the man who was given every opportunity to make lots of money, who was treated very well, given concessions because of his personal life, and then just doesn't do the job...and blames us for it. All we were asking was a much to build this house on this lot. Primary info...AAGH!

    Enough! Thank you for listening.

  2. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    He wants us to pay him to get prices, pay him for his time, and then give him a percentage afterwards...

    At least that's what we've come up with...he's not said how things will be done, but from his actions, we've come to this understanding.

    He simply is not getting the bids and therefore, he can't give us the price...he won't get the bids.

    I don't know why. I just don't know why he has not said something before or why he won't do the work to get the's beyond me.

    Anyway, I appreciate your prayers and kind words. Thanks for your friendship.

  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that the contractor lived up to the contractors' reputation.

    Went to see my brother about a year ago in Oregon. He was going thru similar problems re: his house. Work started late, materials aren't as ordered, work done wrong...

    Got an e mail from him last summer. He actually got some money back. Amazing.

    I understand your desire to just walk away from the whole mess.

  4. gardengirl12

    gardengirl12 New Member

    this sure sounds like a lot of trouble to me you would think these guys would be begging for work now .
    they say it is always stressful building a house
    now i guess i know what they mean .

    hope things get better for you soon
  5. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    So sorry to hear about your contractor troubles. It is very hard to find someone trustworthy who will do exactly what they said they would do. And, to not even be able to get a price! Yes, that is very basic info. It's good you decided to let him go. We have hired a contractor twice to do a room addition, deck and patio work. Neither one of them finished when they said they would, there would be days when they didn't show up at all, and would be conveniently unavailable when you had a question they did not want to answer.

    How very frustrating for you! I pray that you find someone new who is reliable. Keep us updated. Kim :)
  6. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Thank you for your kind words and your contractor is helpful.

    Rock...I'm old...I've dealt with this before, but this has been the absolute worst! And we haven't even pounded a nail yet. Glad your brother got some money back...sound amazing to me.

    Linda...building a house isn't something to do on a lark! UGH. Tribulation brings patience, so the saying goes. I should be very patient...NOT!

    Kim...your experience mirrors mine with contractors...not being reliable, but this guy couldn't even be reliable enough to get a price. are absolutely correct that this is a blessing. Good riddance is what I say. We have been given the name and number of a big outfit that does lots of houses well in that area. We will be giving him a call tomorrow...found out that by some strange chance, he has an opening for next spring...we'll see.

    Yes, it's just another example of the a reputation being lived up to! Makes me want to just crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head!

    But, onward we go. We need a house. We have everything in order to do it...find the guy.

    Thanks for your support...I'll keep you in the loop!

  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Oh Sue, I am sorry that you are having to deal with this, again. You and Jim will certainly be in my prayers.

    This has been a stressful year for you. I pray that you get a 'break' from all of this nonsense, immediately.

    Builder's here, are having a very rough time here. Nothing is moving. I know that most every contractor, would JUMP at the chance to build!

    Take a step back, if needed, and give yourself a breather, as needed...

    Praying everything straighten's out SOON!



  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    But of course it's better to find out now rather than later after you've started...

    What you said about how the guy expected to be paid, seems to be what we've always heard about contractors.

    Friend of ours have built everything from mid-priced to expensive houses, all say they'd never do it again and advised us to never do it; you'd think at least with high-end it would be easier ,but it wasn't.

    Regardless, I admire you for doing this again since you HAVE gone thru it before.

    Good luck, hope you find somebody trustworthy soon!

  9. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Wow, sounds to me like this guy is out to take you for all he can!

    First of all there should be no charge for the estimates. That is part of his job. That is how he gets his contracts for jobs. You should have estimates and references from several, perferably 4 or 5, contractors before you even break ground.

    Make sure you have a bonded contractor and check out their references and licenses. Don't just drive by a job they did and look it over. Stop and talk to the owner about the entire experience and how they feel about the quality of work. Make an appointment to talk to them and walk through their home if possible. A pretty house can hide a lot of imperfections that may be a problem later and the owner is the only one who can give you a straight answer on the workmanship.

    (DH picked a contractor for his garage on the recommendation of a friend. Went by and checked out other garages the company had built and they were very good, inside and out. Then after we hired the contractor he subbed our job out to another contractor. DH is a retired carpenter and had to oversee every bit of the construction. Contractor had to remove an entire pour of concrete because it wasn't done correctly and since he did not come back to correct another portion of concrete we did not pay him the last $2500 for the job. He opted to not do the correction and forfeit that part of his cost.)

    He should receive no money until the contract to build is signed and the contract should be done through a lawyer. Then the money should be paid at certain stages that were agreed upon in the contract. A larger contractor will often do the first stage of the project with no money up front. I highly recommend a contractor who will cover the first stage himself until you are satisfied with the work he has done. That needs to be specified in the contract.

    Bottom line, a lawyer who is versed in construction is well worth the money!

  10. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Although, I would lower the number of contractors you ask to bid. I've found that too many (usually, over three), and they'll start dropping out because the chance of getting the job is substantially lower, and they'll have to put in a good amount of time to give you an accurate bid. Another caveat against asking too many contractors is that the contractors who are upper-end, upfront types, if they find they're in a bidding group with contractors who regularly cut corners, will drop out because they cannot compete that way. Also, ask for a list of their subs with the bid itself.

    Also, I agree about the up-front money. It can be a sign of a GC in a finacial bind if he cannot order and carry enough materials until the first draw. It's possible he's used up good will with suppliers and subs and is having to pay up front. Run like crazy! When you do find your contractor, ask for releases of lien from subs so that you have proof that they have been paid.

    Good luck -- patience goes a long way!
    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2007]
  11. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Such great info and such kind words. I am sitting here, very grateful.

    Talked to a contractor whose work is top line...he built our designer's personal house and it is beautiful...he has built a number of other very excellent homes in our area. But, I am worried about how much he will charge.

    I just don't know yet.

    I will print out all these replies...Greenbean and Juloo...thank you for your very good advice. Oh the pitfalls we have fallen least we haven't spent much money on this guy.

    Kim and Victoria...thank you for your replies...I count on your prayers, Kim. I do hope you are feeling better, Kim...what a year you have had! You need a break, too. doesn't help to hear about the experience with the high and the mid...basically all construction. But, we will perservere.

    Thank you so much for writing to me. I appreciate it more than you know.

  12. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    Sue: Building a house is stressful! especially in this city. We had our simple bungalow built and I've been fighting to get them back for everything! As per plans! was my favourite line. Not enough tradespeople, and builders are swamped, doing too many and not finishing previous projects.

    Good luck Sue. Try not to stress too much, you will find a competent builder and one who can give you a price. One day at a time.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2007]
  13. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Have you ever watched this program on TV????

    It REALLY scares you what goofy stuff happens.

    you did exactly the right thing. You would have been in a HUGE MESS had you gone with this guy. HUGE!!!!

    You are still in the "honeymoon" stage with the house building. This is when the contractor is usually at his BEST BEHAVIOR. Can you imagine how much worse it would have gotten if you had this guy doing the work????

    I've had a couple dozen houses built over the past 40 years. Whacky stuff happens. I've even had to walk away from a house about 1 1/2 weeks before the closing when I found out the house was built in a floodplain (and the builder assured us it wasn't. He gave us papers that also stated that it wasn't. THAT is how we were able to get out of the house purchase. BIG MESS!

    Building a house is very stressful. You want a reputable contractor or it is a nightmare---a very expensive nightmare. Is this on YOUR land, or is the land owned by the contractor and he builds a house on it for you?

    I have this gut feeling that the guy knows he is in over his head and is unconsciously trying to get you to back out so he can keep his self image intact. Now, he has to bad mouth you to justify him getting fired.
  14. ksp56

    ksp56 Member


    Just wondering if the person who designed your home, and builds them also, would have names of other good contractor's he, personally, know's?

    If he would be a little too expensive, I'm sure he know's who is good, not so good, etc. Maybe he is the one who suggested the other contractor's? LOL

    My two cents!



  15. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    i didn't get my point across correctly.

    The designer/architect gave us the name of the man who build the designer's home...our designer does not build houses anymore but did 20 years ago.

    No, the designer didn't give us any names especailly not the two we ended up with. We have seen the work of the is sterling.

    I just don't know how much it will cost. We live in California, you know!

    So, if we should decide on this guy, it will be done and done well. He has built beautiful homes.

    Thanks for your 2 cents...I just wasn't clear in explaining the different men involved in this further action....AAGH! I want to just crawl in bed and pull the covers over. I did take some Ativan this afternoon and slept. Just overwrought. Too much on my plate.

    Take care, Kimmie. Do you still have energy after the "Big Shop?"

  16. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    AAGH! Why did we start this?

    In the positive, we own the land, have the plans and permits. That is at least a good part.

    THe contractor recommended by our architect has a sterling reputation...a big outfit that does lots of quality work. Living in California, we'll have to see what the bid comes in...we think we have it covered, but we really have never had anyone say...It will cost this much!


    Good advice. Thank you. The saga continues.

  17. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I'll share some things I've done to find a good contractor.

    I'll go into an area that has alot of construction and deliberately enter the houses that have construction trucks in front of them.

    I like it when I talk to painters or carpet/tile layers. Both skilled trades like to do their work in well built construction.

    Strike up a conversation. Don't go on job sites in super expensive clothes. Don't go into lots of details about your present situation. Your goal is to walk out with the names of a couple contractors that they like to work for.

    Things that are square and plumb are easier for the tile/carpet layers. painters like job sites with quality finishing carpentry. it requires alot less caulking and prep work. You first strike up a conversation and compliment them on something that they are doing. When they get relaxed and feel comfortable around you, then ask them if they like any contractors in particular (or who would they use if they were going to be building a house).

    It is not only important to have good workmanship, you also want to hire a guy who doesn't have the reputation that he doesn't pay his subcontractors. You don't want to get into a mess with liens on the property.

    Ask around. If you go to a church, are there any skilled tradesmen who attend the same church? They would be a good source for a short list.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2007]
  18. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Those are good tips, and as we have a church we will be attending when we move there, we can ask around.

    The one problem we have is that where our lot is located is in an area that has a reputation for being uppity...high end, high society, etc. We bought this lot years ago, and we bought it because it is close to town, has city services, half-acre lots, and some guidelines to keep home values stable.

    But, just building there, people think we are the elite rich...which we aren't. We are such normal people, very down to earth, normal people. We now have to fight the stereotype of the area. We do, of course, have enough money to build our home, but we don't have a endless wallet.

    So....lots of things going on here.

    But, I can't deal with all of this today. I have to let go and let God guide us...too tired trying to work everything out myself...

    There is some fear with me. "Perfect love casts out fear." This verse just came to me...guess I should remember, eh?

    Hope you have a great day. Thanks for your good tips. We will use them as we continue on this process.

    Thanks again,

    The contractor I talked to yesterday has a wonderful rep and we have seen his work...very impressive.
  19. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Sounds like a very trying situation...however, you did get a place built for less than market value...we are hoping to do that, also.

    Thanks for responding...I appreciate all of you who are so helpful.

  20. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    Yes, we signed up 2 years ago when prices were extremely lower, $200,000. lower!! They attempted to get out of the contract, but we weren't falling for that ploy.
    That is probably a major reason why I have to pester to get them back on every issue. Now my stone is only 3/4 finished.
    I'm not signing off until everything is 100% complete.
    I'm like a slow burn!!! E-mailing, faxing and phoning. I never get irate with them, I just state the facts and remember "as per plan" when you get to that stage.