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Am I Done As A Contractor?

 
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #81
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
If it's anything like NJ, you don't have to have WC on yourself as a sole proprietor and most guys don't, they only cover their workers. So he could have easily gotten a license without WC simply by paying guys under the table and saying he has zero employees. Not sure on CA law regarding WC for sole prop. or LLC's.
In CA contractors can certify to the Contractor's State License Board that they have no employees and they will be exempt from the WC requirement. MANY contractors do this here and pay their employees under the table. These contractors can then bid much lower on jobs. My guess is that this is exactly what the OP did.

If this woman really is a lawyer I'm shocked that she hired a contractor without WC, even if her intentions were to screw him over. As an attorney she would know the huge risk she was taking in hiring a contractor with no WC. If any of the employees were injured on the job she would be responsible for those injuries. I don't see an attorney taking that risk just to screw a contractor out of $20k.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #82
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


i just looked up the statutes for job abandonment in CA. there is no set time limit, its more of a situation basis. This is wrongful abandonment, so if she sues he will loose. there are limits on amounts of damages, but if she is as slimey as he says, and if he has no written approvals for paint colors, tile, or any progress photos from when he left, she is going to get a contractor to just about start over.

good luck to ya firepit.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:23 AM   #83
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Rule #1 in working for a lawyer: Make sure your lawyer is bigger than they are.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:09 AM   #84
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rotarex View Post
Dude i dont think you are done as a contractor, i think you just started, writing a contract is not easy, every time you come across a problem you have to add it to your contract

i started off with 1 page contract, sweet and simple no fine prints
a shi7 load of money later my contract is 5 pages long and detail drawings on a few more pages

if i were you i would offer her some Mc Lovin and if your good you get paid
Sorry to laugh but... 5 pages... Ours is 37 pages. And that's before we add the appendixes for scope of work, materials schedule, and the like! My brain hurts every time I have to use it. But it has saved our many times.

The more detailed you make the contract and ensure that there are no contradictions in it the more likely you are going to win the case in court. The more vague you make it the more likely you will loose.

Never work for lawyers and never work for doctors is my motto. The former never has money and will do all they can to without kissing you first and the latter always know more than you do about your trade because they have MD after their name.

For the OP you are going to need to go back and work it out with her. This will include most likely giving her a discount on the work in return for her withdrawing her complaints. When you do reach an agreement *MAKE SURE* you get it in writing that says in return for your completing the work she will withdraw her complaint. Also make sure you get in writing down to the part number and color what she wants where.

I would suggest you look at the AIA 105(?) contract. You can get it from their web site and its in the range of $20. You just punch in the information. It will protect you and it will protect your clients.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:20 AM   #85
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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Originally Posted by Gary L View Post
I won't even comment on most of the OPs
For every contract ever written you can bet you ass there are at least a dozen lawyers on each side willing to take the case and end up with your money.
This I can't argue with. Ethics don't seem to come into play with allot of people in that profession.

Quote:
The two times I ran in to "Slickster" customers I fought and won my case hands down in court and lost every penny I was fighting for to the lawyers. We are talking about one of the lowest forms of life on earth second only to Politicians.
This is why you need to include as a part of your damages clause that the party on the loosing end of litigation has to pay attorney's fee's on top of damages. Works for you and works for the client.

Quote:
There is no such thing as an "Iron Clad" contract and anyone who believes otherwise is in for a rude awakening. When 2 lawyers get involved the harder they fight and the longer they can drag it out the more they each will make and they can then go play a round of golf together at their club.
Well... Technically not Iron Clad but darn close. The key is to make sure there are no contradictions in the contract, that it is not biased towards one party or the other, that it doesn't violate any laws, and that it is as detailed and concise as possible.

We have gone to court a couple of times with the contract we have. The attorney thought he would make a fast buck and get us to settle because it would be more expensive to litigate. Too bad for them our contract is 37 pages not including scope and spells out down to the last detail exactly who does what, who is responsible for what, how long who has to do what, etc.

Our lawyer told their lawyer that we had no intention to settle, were ready for trial (the contract allows for arbitration or litigation and the client chose to litigate), and that he was filing a counter suit for liquidated damages per the contract. He also asked opposing counsel to take a moment and read the contract. After the other lawyer read the contract the suit was dropped and we actually got paid a portion of our liquidated damages clause.

That is the sad truth about our society these days.

Just like with your auto insurance company, it is almost always cheaper to just settle the claim, take the loss and walk away.

Gary[/quote]
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:25 PM   #86
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


It all depends what size your company is. Most contractors with a few employees doing mostly residential don't need 37 page contracts, and if you tried to get a residential customer to sign one that thick, they'd be wondering why you going through all that trouble to have them sign it and be running the other way. now for much larger projects, where half a million or several million are on the line, then a much longer contract is necessary.

This is an area I am working on right now with my business to cover myself better. I've trusted people too long and been lucky, not saying I work without a contract but I need a better one.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #87
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Just to ad a few words to what you said Apgar,

It also depends upon where you are in our country as to how extensive your contract can or should be. Folks around these parts would run from me if I had some fancy legal contract because there are hundreds of out of work carpenters cutting each others throats.

When I did this work I had a decent contract and always insisted on a meeting and signing with both husband and wife to be sure we were all on the same page.

Building a complete home would require a much better contract while doing a kitchen, bath or deck can and should be much less extensive.

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Old 06-10-2010, 09:09 PM   #88
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Just tell her a couple of your uninsured (that she knew about)
guys really screwed up their backs on her project....
regards
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:45 PM   #89
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
It all depends what size your company is. Most contractors with a few employees doing mostly residential don't need 37 page contracts, and if you tried to get a residential customer to sign one that thick, they'd be wondering why you going through all that trouble to have them sign it and be running the other way. now for much larger projects, where half a million or several million are on the line, then a much longer contract is necessary.

This is an area I am working on right now with my business to cover myself better. I've trusted people too long and been lucky, not saying I work without a contract but I need a better one.
I agrre here -> Most contractors with a few employees doing mostly residential don't need 37 page contracts, ------ do a damm good job on a killer contract form ...google those they are damm FREE ........ thanks ..
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:26 PM   #90
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Since you represented yourself as a duly licensed contractor,
you have no ground to stand on.
This person can and will make your life miserable for decades to come. She is likely to win triple damages in court and collect on your bond. Afterwards she will hound you to the ends of the earth to recover the balance. She can spend all day in court and it won't cost her a cent. You on the other hand will be paying $300 per hour to be represented in a worthless cause.
Your best bet is to make amends, kiss her feet, rub her back, stroke her hair (get the idea) finish the job whether you get paid anymore or not and be glad if you don't end up bankrupt and behind bars.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:29 PM   #91
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


problem solved.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:38 PM   #92
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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Since you represented yourself as a duly licensed contractor,
you have no ground to stand on.
This person can and will make your life miserable for decades to come. She is likely to win triple damages in court and collect on your bond. Afterwards she will hound you to the ends of the earth to recover the balance. She can spend all day in court and it won't cost her a cent. You on the other hand will be paying $300 per hour to be represented in a worthless cause.
Your best bet is to make amends, kiss her feet, rub her back, stroke her hair (get the idea) finish the job whether you get paid anymore or not and be glad if you don't end up bankrupt and behind bars.
correct somewhat ........ The money is hard to come by these days ---- home owners burn contractors all the time ... its their game of power ... ive been down that path of mis honesty ..... he did a good job hopefully ..... maybe the client what with another contractor ... and got it cheaper-- then threatened him fo cash backk ....worse case scenario is you can be sued....
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:25 PM   #93
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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Originally Posted by Home Remodeler View Post
correct somewhat ........


Hell hath no fury like a womans temper.
No matter how bad it gets, it can still get worse.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:22 AM   #94
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by firePit View Post
thank you guys so much for your advise.

I know its all my fault not to follow the laws, and I have nobody to blame but myself, just hope people read this and learn something from my mistake.

I talked to my attorney friend last night and he also advise me to talk to the lady to resolve this problem with her, but after a long thought I decided to fight the case with bond company and CSLB, I know probably I will lose the case and lose my license, but I'm too proud of my work that I don't think she deserves it.

I will miss the construction business & hope I can find some other job thats as exciting and challenging, now I will have to try to explain to my wife what happened.

thank you so much
I doubt you will lose your license for not pulling a permit on this job.

In Florida the penalty for not pulling a permit is triple th permit fees.

Go pull a permit, and do whatever you can to follow the contract, if she does not follow the contract, then she is the one who is in breach of contract.

I don't think you have been off the job long enough for it to be considered abandoned.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:18 PM   #95
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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I doubt you will lose your license for not pulling a permit on this job.

In Florida the penalty for not pulling a permit is triple th permit fees.

Go pull a permit, and do whatever you can to follow the contract, if she does not follow the contract, then she is the one who is in breach of contract.

I don't think you have been off the job long enough for it to be considered abandoned.
This post is beyond DONE ........ lets move on to better Home and Decor ... lol
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #96
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


this is what I do, I don't buy the finnish color paint, I have the homeowner pick it out and buy it & I put it on. same with flooring/tile that way there is not any thing like it looked good in the store and I didn't think it would look like that on the walls/floor and if they don't like what thay picked out then I can charge them to change it insted of eating it, but some times I offer to cange for free and they are and as for your help all my guys are subcontractors that work WITH me and are responsible for there taxes/ins./workers comp they don't work for me and i'm not responsible for them it works look in to it
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:32 PM   #97
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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this is what I doand as for your help all my guys are subcontractors that work WITH me and are responsible for there taxes/ins./workers comp they don't work for me and i'm not responsible for them it works look in to it
Pretty gray area there. I hope they at least run legit business' and have other clients besides you.

Good Luck
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #98
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


I'd have to say that we all have bad days, bad jobs and projects that weren't worth taking. But you are only done as a contractor if you give up.

As advised in previous posts, get the proper credentials, learn from your mistakes, and move forward. Licensing doesn't only protect you from the legal implications but it also ensures that you get paid. In every HO/Contractor court dispute that I've seen, the first thing that the judge asks is if you are licensed. If you say anything other than yes, the case gets dismissed. If you have all of your ducks in a row and everything is documented, the judgment will come down on the HO unless he can prove fraud or damages.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:15 PM   #99
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


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this is what I do, I don't buy the Finnish color paint, I have the homeowner pick it out and buy it & I put it on. same with flooring/tile that way there is not any thing like it looked good in the store and I didn't think it would look like that on the walls/floor and if they don't like what thay picked out then I can charge them to change it insted of eating it, but some times I offer to cange for free and they are and as for your help all my guys are subcontractors that work WITH me and are responsible for there taxes/ins./workers comp they don't work for me and i'm not responsible for them it works look in to it
gmorgan I agree with you GREAT POINT MADE HERE.>> ((buy the Finnish color paint, I have the homeowner pick it out and buy it & I put it on)) all materials is bought by the home owner ie ......... practice is perfect....

Last edited by Home Remodeler; 06-14-2010 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:58 PM   #100
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Re: Am I Done As A Contractor?


You guys got something against American paint?

j/k

Good Luck
Dave

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