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Is my contractor crazy, or am I?

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Posted by: from New York
1/31/2016 at 12:59:56 PM

Hello,

I'm hoping for some advice. I'm thinking my contractor is crazy but maybe it's me and I just thought I would verify.

I just had my hardwood floors replaced, spending $10,000 on the job. In the contract the contractor says the only painting included is the baseboard molding, which is fine because my paint was in good condition. When the job was done, which looked great, I was surprised to see that all of my walls were basically destroyed with dirt. Not only were they coated with dirt from ripping up the old floors, but there were handprints, footprints, scrapes from where the contractors were moving pieces of plywood around not to mention cracked plaster around the doorframes. I told the contractor I couldn't believe what the walls looked like and they would need to be repainted. There was too much dirt on them to even wash them. In my mind this was damage caused by them which they needed to repair.

Since this was not part of the original job and I knew they worked hard on the floor (which looked great) I thought it would be kind of me and a nice compromise if I paid for the paint and materials which I did and they cost me about $200. After the job and when I paid the balance of the contracted price for the floors, the contractor told me he would charge me "only $500" for the painting which is a big discount from the normal price. I was surprised and said to him why would I pay you extra for damage that you caused? If I took my car to a mechanic to fix the engine and he broke the windshield I wouldn't expect him to tell me I'll give you a discount and fix the windshield for only $200. Am I crazy? Or is he crazy?

He referred back to the original contract which says only the baseboard would be painted and I said that's fine but the contract did not state that you would destroy my walls nor did you verbally tell us that there was even a remote chance that our walls would need to be repainted after the job. This is work he does all the time this is the first time we had our floors done. And now I regret even spending the $200 on the paint. Do I tell him to get lost?

He's not a very smart business man because now as far as I'm concerned he's ruined a relationship over a small amount of money. I was going to use him to remodel my bathroom but now he's left a bad taste in my mouth.

Love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Is my contractor crazy, or am I?
Is my contractor crazy, or am I?
Is my contractor crazy, or am I?
Is my contractor crazy, or am I?
Is my contractor crazy, or am I?
REPLIES (3)
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Dan in New York
Date/Time1/31/2016 at 1:06:08 PM

Sorry thought i added pics . Just a sample. Doesn't really show how dirty they were

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Liam from Neirbo Construction in Parish
Date/Time2/1/2016 at 12:30:32 PM

Hi Dan,

I am very sorry to hear about the horrible experience that you got with the refinishing of your floors. In an remodeling there are chance of things getting damaged due to moving of material and equipment around the home. Contractors are responsible for any damages they cause to your home that is within their control such as moving the plywood around. In a proper contract such as the ones we have for our company, it talks about timeline of completion and damages. Within the working it says "subject to force majeure".

Does the contract have a quality of work and work performance section? If it does, carefully read that. Your damages are very excessive and I would never tolerate that, nor feel like my clients should. Do not pay for the repairs they caused. You've already paid for the paint so your stuck with that, but the labor definitely not. If the floors are to your satisfaction, then you will have to pay for that, but like I said before the repairs to the walls due to damage on the contractor's behalf are his responsibility and you should not have to pay.

You legally have the right to hold your final payment until the job is to your satisfaction. If he is going to charge you for repairing his own fault, that you did not cause at all then a "Change to the Work" form should have been completed prior.

If you run into any problems like a threat to lien your home or whatever, I would consult an attorney.

Good luck!

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Date/Time2/12/2016 at 10:12:23 AM

You should be able to withhold the final payment. Good job taking pictures as this could unfold into a legal issue. He needs to take responsibility for his mistake.

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