What to Do When Your Contractor Takes Too Long

Re-reading the contract you signed is the first step to determine if there is any way to exclude yourself from the agreement due to the extension of the term. If so, then the best option may be to cancel the contract and find a new contractor to complete the work. However, it's important to make sure you've received everything you paid for before canceling the contract. If your contractor is taking too long to finish, it may be time to replace them.

Tell them the project will be completed in the next two weeks and if it is not, you will consider that they have abandoned the project and will use the balance you owe to complete it and sue for any surplus. Do what you can to defend yourself and save yourself some money. After all, it's your money and your time that they're taking advantage of. Don't feel bad about having lowered your foot.

The first course of action should always be to contact your contractor before taking drastic action. You need to contact them directly and let them know that the delay is not acceptable. Have them commit to an end date, and when they give you an end date, let them know that you'll look for other solutions if they can't do it by then. Most of the time, even the veiled threat of a lawsuit will set them in motion.

Most problems between contractors and homeowners are due to communication problems and lack of updates. Too often, contractors get caught up in the details of the project and fail to adequately notify owners of daily progress and setbacks. While it's best to establish communication early on, if you're in a deteriorating relationship with your contractor, re-initiate communication and make sure you have everything in writing. Texts and emails are great for this; even when you have verbal communication, tell the contractor you're going to send an email summarizing the conversation to make sure you're on the same page.

This forces both parties to expose their potential problems, and can be reconsulted if further problems arise. As soon as you start having problems with the contractor, one of the best things you can do is to re-establish what the plan is going to follow and the time frame in which it will occur. Are the workers who built your addition also tearing up the yard? Write down exactly what will be done to rectify it and when it will be done. Again, a thunderstorm could postpone this, but a good contractor will be able to avoid it and have a little cushioning to account for those things. The contract administrator or architect must logically and methodically calculate the amount of time that will be added to the contract period to delay events that have caused a delay in the contract end date, and his judgment must be formed impartially and objectively. This means that if it is a dispute over whether a fair and reasonable extension has been granted and the contract administrator has determined the period of that extension instinctively, intuitively or under the instructions of one of the parties, his decision is likely to be overturned. Email is an effective method here, as you can print them out and use them to file a case later if that's what it comes down to.

You can even create and send an accompanying email to describe any voicemails you've left. For more than 100 years, The Better Business Bureau has worked to connect consumers with companies they can trust. Filing a complaint with The BBB could be enough to persuade your contractor to finish the job or pay him what he is owed. When it comes to avoiding contractor delays and finding a reputable contractor for your project, GreatBuildZ simplifies finding contractors in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego. Making your contractor feel like you're behind their back could aggravate an already tense situation.

Once a contractor starts missing full days of work and making excuses, that's a warning sign that they're likely to run into delays. Keep in mind that your goal is to complete the project as soon as possible, so if you decide to sue a contractor for delays, that will only stop your project until the lawsuit is resolved - and the costs involved in a lawsuit are prohibitive. Standard forms of contract establish a number of possible contingencies, which should not be borne by contractors but by employers. Complaints may not lead to a full recovery of your losses but filing one could help protect other innocent homeowners from similar situations in future. You can also decide to fire your contractor and bring a new one on board but keep in mind that this action will create a dispute with your current contractor and bring a new set of headaches. Contractors can revoke their license when informed about it by licensing boards so they quickly resolve issues when it comes down to that.

This evidence will show courts how much time was wasted by contractors as well as its financial impact on homeowners who were affected by these delays. In some cases, contractors almost stopped showing up for work leaving landlords wondering what they should do if their contractor doesn't finish their job. First off, call current customers and confirm that their work isn't substantially delayed or lacking communication from their contractor. Ideally, you get along well with your contractor so they'll be motivated enough by pride in their trade as well as goodwill towards you. I estimate that my contractor has finished approximately 80% (but 70% of work was completed within 12 weeks). A contractor license bond is one way for consumers financially protect themselves when situations like this arise - for example The Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT) form...

Roberta Burgees
Roberta Burgees

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