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Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....

 
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:06 AM   #1
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Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


Okay, so I'll try to abbreviate and make it quick. If you need more information, let me know.

I hired a contractor to install new trim around and entry door. This is a brick front house with fluted columns and mantle top around the door. After I hung the door, I contracted with him to install the trim while I finished on the inside of the home.

We met the day before at the property to go over the scope and see the on-site conditions. I showed him pictures of the trim package I wanted to copy and build from. I started laying out the trim because he seemed a little confused and he asked that I be there first thing the next day to help him lay everything out (show him how to stack the casings correctly).

Anyways, we agreed on a price and I was told it would be finished within one day. The following day, we worked together for the first few hours to help him get started and on the right track. Fast forward to 6PM at night, and he got as far as the picture I attached. So, about 8 hours worth of work. The second pictures shows us removing what he did to repair it.

At the end of the day he said he could get the rest of the casing up in about an hour with no problems. I told him that the top was crooked (not lining up with the mortar joints in the brick...more noticeable in person) and needed to be fixed before he got any further. He got frustrated and said he'd have to begin in the morning. I told him that was fine because we still had two more days until the home would be painted.

Then he dropped the bomb. He told me he made a mistake in his estimate and he would need an additional $100 to compete the project. I told him no, but I would pay him the agreed upon amount when he completed. So he flies off the handle. He told me he'd rather walk off the project and not get paid then to finish for what he quoted. I was called everything from crooked to a racist in this conversation.

Anyways, he left. I called him the following day to let him know that I would like to compensate him for what he did on the project. I had someone else come look at the job and we determined he was about 20% complete. This didn't include the re-work that needed to be done either. This contractor worked for about 9 hours to complete the job in one day. He was paid in full based on his quoted price.

After all was said and done, there was $25 left on the budget (difference between the original contractors quote and what it cost me to complete). I threw in an additional $30 to bet at an even $55. I did that because I thought he was about 20% complete and 20% of the original quote is $55.

He does not agree with that cost and will not meet or provide an address to send a money order. He, in stead, threatened me stating you will be sorry after I do what I'm gonna do. He is being very vague and I think he now wants all of the money he had originally quoted.

I probably should have just paid him his money to get him out of there and learn my lesson. I had doubts on his abilities as of the first day. He seems to be a good contractor...just works very very slow. He would get flustered easily and get confused when I'd tell him too much at once...

The racist comments really bothered me on a personal level. So did the comments about being crooked. I try very hard to be fair and not be the type of GC that constantly adds to the scope and tries to take all he can without ever giving.

The first problem he had was that at the end of day when all this started, he said I am making him build a trim package that was different than the pictures I showed him when he quoted. This is most certainly not true. The only pictures on my iPad of door trim was the one we built so I know I couldn't have showed him the wrong pictures on accident. Playing Devil's advocate, I asked him why he didn't bring this up first thing in the morning before we worked. Our first two hours were spent laying it out and answering his questions on how to build it. The second contractor asked for the pictures and he was able to do everything himself with very little guidance.

I tried to tell him whether it was this door or another, he still wouldn't have finished on time. He only got the base up in 8 hours and the two strips of howe casing he installed were crooked and needed to be re-done. After that he told me that I was the one who was crooked. I decided not to break his jaw and I walked away so he could finish cleaning up and leave the homeowners property. I lost a chisel, scraper, and a few drill bits. I don't think he did that on purpose but who knows.

What do? What does the forum suggest?

So much for being abbreviated.....
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Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....-photo-1.jpg   Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....-photo-2.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


That top piece is crooked to the mortar joints, but was it level? I've seen mortar joints run out a little, but that would be quite a bit.

Does he seem like the type of guy that would mess up the job or just a big talker?

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Old 06-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


What was the price of the total job? These seem like some pretty small dollar amounts being thrown around.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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That top piece is crooked to the mortar joints, but was it level? I've seen mortar joints run out a little, but that would be quite a bit.

Does he seem like the type of guy that would mess up the job or just a big talker?
Hmm...I'm not sure if it is level. Either way, he was asked to follow the mortar joints for aesthetics. He even snapped a line that he would build to that I approved. He missed his snap line.

I have no idea what he is capable of. He sent two emails threatening me but being very vague about what he was going to do. I replied back to one last night stating that I was a little unnerved about his emails and that I was going to have to call the police. I couldn't risk harm to the property, my family, or myself. I took his threat very seriously. He responded and told me he meant no harm...so I guess I'm okay. I have no clue what he plans to do.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


What's the contract call for in terms of scope, payment schedule, estimated time of completion, etc?
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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What was the price of the total job? These seem like some pretty small dollar amounts being thrown around.
The total job was supposed to be $275 and that is labor only. I supplied the screws, nails, staples, caulk, and trim. It was a true labor only.

Yes, these are pretty small dollar amounts. My pride won't let me be railroaded by people like him. Unless you guys can help me see my faults....sometimes others are better than me at that....
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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What's the contract call for in terms of scope, payment schedule, estimated time of completion, etc?
No contract. Just verbal agreement. I typically don't write contracts for work under $500. People get pissed when I ask them to sign one. I know, lesson learned for sure.

I'm not even docking him for my additional time, pushing off the painters to complete his job, and having to rework his mess. Hell, I even offered to caulk the damn thing myself to help be sure he'd be done in one day.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


For $275, you shoulda just paid him & been done with it & never called him again. Not enough money to get overly worked up about IMO. Live & learn.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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No contract. Just verbal agreement. I typically don't write contracts for work under $500. People get pissed when I ask them to sign one.
That would be a red flag to me. If they're that resistant to putting an agreement in writing, I'd wonder why.

We still have a few subs do an occasional small job without a contract, but only after they've established they're trustworthy & we have a long positive history with them. They probably say the same about us, now that I think of it. Clear, concise contracts benefit both sides.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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For $275, you shoulda just paid him & been done with it & never called him again. Not enough money to get overly worked up about IMO. Live & learn.
Maybe so. But times are tough and I have a family to feed as well. Also, I've pretty much made it a point my whole life to never let people get one over on me. If he takes me to court, he will lose and I will counter sue for additional money. He can take what I'm offering and walk away (after signing a lien waiver) or end up paying me for the project.

Unless you guys can find fault. Don't be afraid to tell me I'm being an
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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That would be a red flag to me. If they're that resistant to putting an agreement in writing, I'd wonder why.

We still have a few subs do an occasional small job without a contract, but only after they've established they're trustworthy & we have a long positive history with them. They probably say the same about us, now that I think of it. Clear, concise contracts benefit both sides.
Maybe I should create a basic contract for work like this. Something one page and simple...but concise. I think I will.

Also, this project was a little different where the homeowner paid me as a construction manager. The homeowner payed all contractors directly and paid me a fee to hire, manage, schedule, and check quality of work.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


I make my living doing jobs that are mostly under $500. I would say this problem stems from a poor relationship. It's not necessarily your fault, what I'm saying is things happen fast on small items so its important to have built a relationship so you know going into this it's taken care of.

In the future look for a guy who always does this stuff and work with him continually. That way you know it will be done stress free.

At least it's a small job, you'll live through this.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #13
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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I make my living doing jobs that are mostly under $500. I would say this problem stems from a poor relationship. It's not necessarily your fault, what I'm saying is things happen fast on small items so its important to have built a relationship so you know going into this it's taken care of.

In the future look for a guy who always does this stuff and work with him continually. That way you know it will be done stress free.

At least it's a small job, you'll live through this.
This is 100% true.* I normally do this type of work myself.* I am an experienced trim carpenter and cabinet builder.* However, since things are picking up, I need someone else to do that work for me.* So, I decided to hire out on this project to find someone that I could work with moving forward.*

It didn't turn out like I thought it would.* The second contractor will be getting more work from me in the future.*

However, I still need to decide whether to just pay this guy off or stand my ground.* I'm leaning towards standing my ground as I have everything documented along with his email threats.* My guess is that he has done this stuff before.* Probably increases his prices and most homeowners don't know better and pay him.* People like him need to be taught a lesson.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


Does anyone have experience with this type of installation? Does my estimate of 20% complete seem fair? Does 8 hours seem like too much time for what he did?
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:39 AM   #15
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


You don't get paid for a job you didn't complete. Pay him nothing.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #16
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


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You don't get paid for a job you didn't complete. Pay him nothing.
That's not entirely true. You have to pay a man for the work that was completed. However, by the time I add in my time and hassle for dealing with the project it will eat up all his money plus end up owing me. He would not be wise to take this to court.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:58 AM   #17
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


I thought the op sounded familiar.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/lbg/3042384173.html

-----------

You must have the following tools:

Masonry cutter
Mitre box that makes accurate cuts
Table saw
Hammer drill
Masonry drill bit
Skil saw

I need you to trim out a front door with casing. This is detailed trim work with fluted columns and a mantle top. The previous carpenter wasnt able to complete the project. There are a few mistakes you will have to correct. It can be finished within on day. Less than a day if you are very experienced.

Give me a contact number for you.

Location: Dallas, GA
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 3042384173
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:58 AM   #18
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr8887

That's not entirely true. You have to pay a man for the work that was completed. However, by the time I add in my time and hassle for dealing with the project it will eat up all his money plus end up owing me. He would not be wise to take this to court.
Not really, if you consider the total costs and damages there's no way $275 pays for it. No way.

If you look at the big picture this disruption had a cost to it and the fact you recovered the job because YOU found a solution is irrelevant.

The price of poker in construction is steep when things go wrong. It has a cost to it. Some don't see it, others do.

Truth is... he probably owes you money.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #19
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


Send him a bill and see what happens. I wouldn't pay him a dime.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #20
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Re: Trim Carpenter Wants More Money....


Quote:
Originally Posted by J F View Post
I thought the op sounded familiar.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/lbg/3042384173.html

-----------

You must have the following tools:

Masonry cutter
Mitre box that makes accurate cuts
Table saw
Hammer drill
Masonry drill bit
Skil saw

I need you to trim out a front door with casing. This is detailed trim work with fluted columns and a mantle top. The previous carpenter wasnt able to complete the project. There are a few mistakes you will have to correct. It can be finished within on day. Less than a day if you are very experienced.

Give me a contact number for you.

Location: Dallas, GA
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 3042384173
Ha. I've been found. I was in a pinch and had two days to finish. I used Craigslist. Every once in a while there are decent jobs that actually pay on Craigslist...

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