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  • My Contractor Didn’t Do The Job Right, Now He Wants Me To Pay

“Beginning in May of this year I took out a contract to have my foundation sealed through an independent home contractor. I compared prices from three quotes and picked the lowest guy. Boy did I regret it. Not only did the job take a whole month, he sent someone else that wasn’t him to do the job. The result is my foundation began leaking after a rainstorm (worse than before, so he did WORSE than nothing for me!). When I called to complain, he offered to repair it for another $3,000, meaning he was no longer my cheapest option! I’m going over the contract to see how I can slam this guy. Is there anything I can look out for, or maybe you have some advice to avoid this problem in the future?”

Tim H. Bolton, ON.

builder1Without a copy of your contract, Tim, there’s unfortunately not too much we can do for you at this time. We aren’t legal experts, merely consumers suffering through the same problems as anyone else. That being said, legal aid should be your first recourse against a contractor who promised one thing and delivered junk. You may also wish to consider negotiating with him on the matter. Make it clear you expected him and him alone to do the work, and that you did not agree to additional charges if the job was done improperly.

Additionally, do review your contract to see if the following were breached:

  • Did he specify in the contract when the job would be done? If so, did it provide a guarantee on the date?
  • Did the contract specify that he would do the work, or an employee or apprentice?
  • Was there any provisions for additional work, or guarantees on workmanship?
  • What did the contract say about refund or cancellation of services?

Again, legal aid may be your best ally in this regard, as contracts can be vaguely or confusingly worded in order to protect contractors against reprisal for failing to provide a proper service. We encourage you to negotiate with the contractor beforehand, however, as legal proceedings in any context are length and expensive.

As for avoiding this problem in the future, there’s a variety of home service review sites out on the net (we personally recommend HomeStars) that can help give you a better perspective on how contractors are seen by customers.

We also encourage you, though it may not make the best sense at first, to consider paying more for services in your home. Most of the time, the cheapest home contractor is often the least experienced, organized, and prompt in how they deliver services. There’s a premium to expertise and professionalism, so that extra cost can save you a load of money (and a headache) in the long run.

We wish you continued luck in settling this issue with your contractor, and hope you take the right steps to get the right treatment for your home. Also consider some available tips we have provided in the past to help combat leaks in your home. Good luck!

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