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Breeching A Contract With A Builder

 
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:04 PM   #41
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


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Originally Posted by jpape1224 View Post
I couldn't agree with you more, especially the glutton for punishment part I assumed even with a lot of the negative feedback, I would get some good information from other people who want to give some constructive advice and not just throw s#@% at others they do not know. And yes the written portion is for the work required, the timeline was said to me in person, not in writing.

A part of me would consider “nutting up” and finishing the job. However it's not the thought of losing some money, it's the fact that the GC showed his teeth so quickly only leads me to believe that things would only get worse. Grinding it out by myself for the next 3 weeks to a month for a GC that will never use me again, nor would he recommend to the other bottom-feeding builders in my area because I took too long does not seem like a smart move at all.



Also, I do know how to read plans. My estimate for doors, casings and base were not off, although I did make it a little less than I would charge per foot than I generally charge for remodel. Having floors being 3/4" out of level in a 3' span was not planned for. Door casings that need to be scribed to said crooked walls was not included. The bid for "wrapping living room post's with MDF" was included, building craftsman style-multiple piece posts that tie into crown was not. Building a fireplace mantle was not included. Building ten feet of open handrail where the plans clearly said there was to be a closed rail was not. So yes, these items could be change ordered up to a point, but what do you think the builder would say to double my bid?

Again as much blame belongs to me as the builder for not going out and looking at the property before even giving the estimate and signing a bid. I know that this was more than just a little boo-boo, I need to do everything in my power to not make a mistake like this again, otherwise it will be time for me to find another profession....
I think you need to stand up to this GC and list (in writing) all the things that were not spelled out clearly in the proposal given to you, plus, all the extra things he wants done. This is all change order stuff...no kidding. Even if things are "up to interpretation" ....it's your interpretation, not his.

I would list it all out, think about what you would normally charge, then double it. Give it to him in writing along with a part that says: Unless these issues can be resolved to my satisfaction, all work will cease. If no agreement is reached within X number of days, then immediate payment of X is due for all work performed to this date (today's date).

I would give it to him, watch him explode, and, running around cursing and threatening and so forth. You need to be the professional and start wearing the "big boy" pants...........This GC sounds like a pro at being a lowballer (as far as paying subs), bottom feeding jerk.....which is how he makes his money.

I would say, based on what has been stated in your post, stand your ground and cut your losses.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:19 PM   #42
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


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I think you need to stand up to this GC and list (in writing) all the things that were not spelled out clearly in the proposal given to you, plus, all the extra things he wants done. This is all change order stuff...no kidding. Even if things are "up to interpretation" ....it's your interpretation, not his.

I would list it all out, think about what you would normally charge, then double it. Give it to him in writing along with a part that says: Unless these issues can be resolved to my satisfaction, all work will cease. If no agreement is reached within X number of days, then immediate payment of X is due for all work performed to this date (today's date).

I would give it to him, watch him explode, and, running around cursing and threatening and so forth. You need to be the professional and start wearing the "big boy" pants...........This GC sounds like a pro at being a lowballer (as far as paying subs), bottom feeding jerk.....which is how he makes his money.

I would say, based on what has been stated in your post, stand your ground and cut your losses.
Perfectly said. I will get something to him in writing stating all of those things.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:54 PM   #43
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


As was mentioned, all that stuff is change order material. There is nothing, in and of itself, unethical about change orders. I use them all the time. Some people abuse them, but that doesn't diminish their viability.

As far as getting paid, make sure you get progress checks, or stop work IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, if your contract is not up to State requirements, you may have lost the ability to file a Mechanics Lien.

There are certainly GC's out there who just go from one lowballing sub to the next, putting one-man shows out of business along the way. Protect yourself legally, but if he is one of those, no amount of bending over backward for him is going to do you any good, because as soon as you bid a job to make money, he won't hire you.




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Old 06-06-2015, 04:09 PM   #44
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


I don't see the problem here, you have a contract with a scope of work. You can finish scope of work in allotted time? If yes you are good. I would never bid a job to do doors and baseboards and then agree to do 2x as much work for the same money and still stick to the time frame. Guy probably has you figured out already and is going to run you ragged for as little as possible if you have already shown weakness. Do the job for him after you sign a new contract with updated scope of work and adjusted timeline.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:19 PM   #45
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


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Originally Posted by jpape1224 View Post
I couldn't agree with you more, especially the glutton for punishment part I assumed even with a lot of the negative feedback, I would get some good information from other people who want to give some constructive advice and not just throw s#@% at others they do not know. And yes the written portion is for the work required, the timeline was said to me in person, not in writing.

.

here is some more negative feedback

you need as much as you can get

the kicker is every year tom dick and harry come out of the wood work thinking they can be a contractor or a competent business person and unfortunately they suck, in the meantime they lowball prices get in over their head and people like me try to compete with these screwballs by offering a time line, quality work, and management skills needed to be successful.

I'm over it. it's to the point that people like yourself really need to step back and analyze things before jumping headfirst into an empty swimming pool. It's not necessarily your fault that the average consumer is looking for the lowest price possible instead of competency. Thats just the world we live in today. Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:34 PM   #46
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


Stop worrying about backing out. Tell the builder you want to finish this project and hope he can accept a small overrun on time.

As for the money side that will be your lesson. You need to see everything first. In all honestly what's so overwhelming with baseboard, casing, and a mantle?
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:23 AM   #47
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


We always say, "the blade cuts in both directions."

The carpenter and the contractor both made huge mistakes and both should be willing to make the deal favorable for each other. Neither party should take advantage of the other due to mistakes.

I am currently installing a 4 inch double check assembly fire line valve. The general gave me a set of blueprints and I bid the job for $18,000. Then, at the pre-construction meeting with the water department inspector the general hands me the submittals that were submitted by another company and the inspector tells me that I will have to install additional piping, valves, perform tests and paint the pipes with several coats of Epoxy paint and the extras will cost me $3,000 for materials and cost me another two weeks of work. The general immediately tells me to add every extra cost for materials, labor and profit to the contract and that is how all parties should transact business.

Personally, I would never allow a sub to work for me and lose money because I could not live with myself even if the sub is an idiot.

I say that both parties are responsible to each other and the carpenter has the right to walk from the job. Especially, if the contract is only verbal. I've quoted many jobs over the phone and then arrived on the job to find out that the owners failed to tell me about 90% of the work.

You break the job down with the cost of materials and a commensurable hourly rate that includes profit and overhead. Give the breakdown to the contractor and tell him that the decision is his. If he looks you in the eye and tells you that he wants you to do the job at a loss then you know where to tell him to stick your original agreement.

I have almost 50 years of experience and I will walk from a job, before I start the job, when I know I made a grave mistake. I gave an estimate to install new water piping for a home and I thought the home had only one bathroom. After giving the estimate I realized that I forgot to ask if there was more than one bathroom in the home and found out that there was three bathrooms. I told the customer that I missed the two bathrooms. The customer didn't want to pay the extra for the two bathrooms and I walked from the job. It happens to everyone and neither party should take advantage of the other due to innocent mistakes.

I had a swimming pool built at my home 35 years ago. The contractor quoted me a price of $23,000 to build the pool. By the end of the job the cost was $35,000. The contractor showed me his original calculations where he made an $8,000 mistake for the concrete and I paid him the $8,000 without arguing. If I didn't pay the extra for the concrete I would feel like a thief and the same should be true for the contractor who wants wood molding installed for less than the fair value. To get molding for free because someone made a mistake is not Christian-like and it is stealing.

Last edited by pcplumber; 06-09-2015 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:45 AM   #48
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


Thanks PC Plumber

you provided a few good examples, in this business we are in, 50% of the people don't have a clue what they are doing, they are out to get "rich," create the lowest level of product they can, and screw as many people over as possible. These fly by nighters are here today and gone tomorrow

This poor trim guy seems to hooked up with a fly by night contractor who cares little about his business or delivering a quality product, or even building a business for the future. In return anyone who is honest and cares about what they do, is bulldozed by low balling builders who think they are going to make tons of money. The only way they do that is by ripping subs off and delivering a sub par product to the customer.

I guess it's just me who is angry and bent out of shape, I used to not give two hoots about the "other guy" or competition, but I'm now having a really hard time landing jobs and competing with everyone who is "back in the business" now that things are rolling again. My prices cannot compete with someone who is looking to just make wages.
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:04 AM   #49
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Re: Breeching A Contract With A Builder


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......... My prices cannot compete with someone who is looking to just make wages.

Q: How does Macy's compete with K-Mart?


A: They don't.




Don't treat the bottom-feeders, low-ballers and such as your competition because, well, in reality they're NOT. Don't compete with them, differentiate yourself. Distance yourself from them and things will be much easier.

If you're always running into them, then you're not targeting the customers you want properly. If your advertising is bringing you a steady stream of tire-tickers and wanna-be CGs, you need to change your marketing strategy.

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