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  • My Contractor just screwed me

    well, i just accepted that i've been totally shafted by a contractor.
    i feel so silly for letting this project get so far out of control.
    It's not like i'm not here everyday, most days, all day.
    now, with 95% of the siding up i have to pay someone else to take it all down and start over from scratch. i don't even have the balance of materials which i've already paid for. november marks the 5th month of this roof/siding/windows overhaul. 5 months. WTF? 2 of my neighbors had additions completed in the same time, from the ground up.

    it started to fall apart these past 2 weeks. realistically, he was in way over his head 3 months ago, but i failed to act. as part of the project i bought all new windows, really nice simonton doohickies. they showed up today. builder's grade. bottom of the line ted lansing pieces. he claims ignorance until i wave the invoice under his nose. he baited and switched me. oldest trick in the book. and i let it happen.

    so i ask the guy who fixed my sub-floor issues (very old house) to take a look and he goes around the house and says it all needs to come down. the backer board for the siding isn't correct. there is no flashing on the corners, etc. he failed to install a moisture barrier between the siding and the house. WTF? siding 101. so i ask 3 other folks out. they all say the same thing, independently. some pieces of the cedar aren't even over lapping in a few places. WTF?

    so, he's baited and switched me at every turn. backer board - missing. flashing missing. moisture barrier? missing trim? downgraded. shutters? downgraded. windows? downgraded. professional siding crew to install? downgraded. to his wife and sister-n-law.

    i can't believe it. well, yes i can. i've watched it. yes sold me on such a terrible tale a couple months ago about his lost job and his wife needing surgery blah blah blah and i was totally sucked in. thought we could help each other. that's what i get for thinking.

    this joker has quite a bit of my money, and i have a very nice standing seam roof, a siding job that needs to be redone, and trim/window pieces on-site that are worth MAYBE 25% (in quality and cost) compared to the ones i paid for.

    my 'get it fixed' bids? $15k. Fifteen thousand dollars. OMG. on top of this, i've been ripped off to the tune of ~$5k on the windows/trim material and ~$4k on the siding labor. roughly $20k. Holy crap. As if I had that kind of money just laying around. my wife and i are stay at home educators which is the best work on the planet, IMO. i don't want to give that up because this a$$hole scammed me.

    i don't know what to think. i'm thinkless. i'm thoughtless. *sigh*

    what to do next? call the lawyer? cut him off and get it fixed elsewhere? jeeze...what a crappy day.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

  • #2
    Damn that sucks. We got the shaft last summer when roofing our patio. We fell for the, "My wife left me, I got stuck with bills and the kids, could use extra money" bullshit.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

    My Myspace


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    • #3
      PM me his phone number. I Wanna FUCK with him. Thanks.
      .
      "If ya don't have it in the hips, ya better have it in the lips..." ~ Charlie - Villa Dulce

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      • #4
        Why PM the phone number? Just post it so we all can fuck with him!
        Dave
        C5/C6 complete
        http://www.davegrotzinger.com
        http://www.daves-webdesign.com

        "I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me guaranteed..." - Eddie Vedder

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        • #5
          By all means...
          .
          "If ya don't have it in the hips, ya better have it in the lips..." ~ Charlie - Villa Dulce

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          • #6
            My sis-in-law just reamed the hell outta her hubby last month. She went shopping, a guy comes up to the door, tells bro-in-law, ya know I got a crew working down the street, recoating a driveway, we got some extra material and could give ya a really good price. So he quote the bil, $3,000. bills, he goes okay, guy says ia'll get my job order book, bro says , I'll get the money. He goes and dips into his secret stash(usually has had one of these for yrs, his wife is a back scratchung bitch, and tight w/money, unless it's for her. She spends $300.00 a month to keep her hair permed and dyed.) So he gives the guy three bills, he gets a receipt with no business name or ph # on it, just a generic rcpt. Gawd, sis-in-law went ballistic.
            #1.l whjat thre hell, what if he doesn't come back? No way to contact him. Duh
            #2. WHERE IN THE HELL did you come up with tree grand, just like "THAT"?
            I tell ya my nbr-in-law suer got his nut's handed to him on a plate. In no way could it have been his brains, my gad to expose his magic stash like that, dingaling.

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            • #7
              Ya know, unfortunately with the way things are nowdays, I think there's more gonna come out of the woods. All trying to pull the rug out from under anybody. Be careful all.

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              • #8
                We had something similar happen to us a few years ago. If your contractor is with an established licensed company you may want to call your State Attorney General's office and see if your state has a "Deceptive Trade Practice Act". If he intentionally switched products from what you have on the contract you may have a case to get back $$. It's going to take awhile though so you may be out repair cash for awhile. If it
                s just a solo guy in a truck then I agree: post his phone #.

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                • #9
                  No question about it: cut your losses and move on. If you continue down this path of dealing with the crooked contractor, you'll be out even more money, have even more shoddy projects that need to be demolished.

                  Document/photograph and video everything that has happened so far, hire a reputable contractor to complete your projects. Once you're done, then figure out if it's worth it (time/money/hassle) to file suit against the crooked contractor.
                  Daniel

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daleb View Post
                    As if I had that kind of money just laying around. my wife and i are stay at home educators which is the best work on the planet, IMO. i don't want to give that up because this a$$hole scammed me.

                    i don't know what to think. i'm thinkless. i'm thoughtless. *sigh*

                    what to do next? call the lawyer? cut him off and get it fixed elsewhere? jeeze...what a crappy day.
                    I don't presume to know how busy you are, but it sounds like you've got some extra time on your hands. At the very least you should sue him in small claims court, you pretty much can't lose (don't have to pay for a lawyer and whatnot). If you were going to go this route, I would first call him on the phone and record him (make sure you check state laws first, sometimes its illegal to tape someone without their knowledge, but most states it is fine... and if ur in a state where it is illegal, you just have to get creative, ie have him call you back and let it go to the answering machine, then pick up and start talking to him, he knows he is being recorded, but thinks its by accident, so all is legal) try and get him to admit that things are not the way they are on the invoice. You should at least be able to get back the max that is allowed for small claims in your area.

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                    • #11
                      Call your State's Attorney General's office and report him. I have seen several cases of contractors being prosecuted because they did faulty work here in Indiana.
                      "If everything is under control, you are going too slow." - Mario Andretti

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                      • #12
                        Sorry to hear this D. I hope I can be of some help to you. First off, what State are you in? Some states have some pretty good assiatance to this kind of crap. Second, if you have any personal info of the contractor, use it to file a complaint in your County. Usually through the Auditors office. You may be able to file a lien against the company, if this was an Inc. or LLC. Perhaps someone with legal experience can chime in here. It is very important to follow up here. Simply contacting the BBB is not going to help in most situations.

                        Last, I have a pretty solid background in construction/engineering. I am the construction coordinator at an engineering firm, so I deal with lots of contractors and I can provide advice and recommendations for fixing this mess. Feel free to PM me what your contractors are telling you along with how much they are charging. If I don't know off hand of the validity of thier claims, I have a lot of good contractors that I trust and will provide me with the info needed. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, I just want to extend a hand here.

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                        • #13
                          i'm in the state of Numbness right now, Chip. i usually reside in Virginia. not sure about posting his info yet. perhaps. i've got an appointment with his pastor later today. i also have a letter drafted to send to his landlord, letting him know i might show up to his property with the fuzz to get my materials or whatever. also, i do PSA work with the local NBC affiliate (distracted driver awareness stuff) and they have a 'On Your Side' program where by buffoon's like this contractor get skewered on the local news for a few nights in a row, until they capitulate. my attorney is busy litigating an intestate battle over my mothers estate, but i have him in my back pocket if needed, though expensive. small claims won't cover this loss, at all. i'm just kinda blah to it all right now. not like i can change it. i can, however, get what i paid for and that's where my head is at right now.
                          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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                          • #14
                            That's cool D.

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                            • #15
                              oh my, oh my, this just keeps getting better. turns out, the month he contracting with me he also lost his contractor's license. he was found guilty of numerous violations, charged $5,900 in fines, $15,000 in civil judgment and a suspended jail sentence for fraud and a host of other abuses governed by local codes and virginia department of professional and occupational regulation laws. nice. really nice. i called the folks he screwed last time and had a nice long conversation. they gave me the # of the people he screwed before them. this guy is a career a$$wipe and is barely keeping himself out of jail. this time, he's contracted without a license, which is a HUGE no-no. here's a blurb from the governing statute:

                              Subsection (B) states that any person who undertakes contracting work without a valid license shall be fined up to five hundred dollars per day for each day that the person is in violation.
                              let's do the math, shall we? 5 months. 123 days. x $500 per day...$61,500 fine PLUS the potential for jail time.

                              like i said, this just keeps getting better. i'm going to ride this guy all the way to prison, if i can. he has skipped out on the fines and the judgment, of course, so he's got all that coming back down on him, along with me.

                              i'm all for forgiveness, but this guy took the last of the $ my wife was left by her mother. the last of her mother's life savings, gone to this royal douche. oh yeah, i feel like shit for not digging into this guy before even going with him. he had all the bases covered...insurance info, references, etc. i was fooled by this fool which makes me foolish, for sure. i can take that. what i can't take is how this is making my wife feel. we'll see. ugh.
                              "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                              "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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