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I contracted a new house with an attached garage for a guy who wanted to be his own general contractor. All i contracted was labor for the framing, concrete, foundation, etc. He wanted to get his own materials, plumber, electrician, Heating and Cooling, excavating, and provide backfill as well.
I suggested he hire a plumber and electrician that i am used to working with but he insisted on his guys because they were friends of his. Needless to say they held up the job by about a month, no temporary power, never showed up for work, etc. He ended up firing both of them two months after i was completely finished because they still weren't done. And he hired the guys i reffered to him. The ready mix plant delayed progress for two weeks, i scheduled them with a pump truck(needed because homeowner had excavators put dirt pile 5ft from edge of hole on one side)and they could not make it on time.

The material supplier didn't order materials on time, was three roof trusses short, was always short on everything, had to order siding three times to get enough even when I told him what to order he still shorted me. We even had to prime and paint over twenty five gallons in 1 gallon cans??
I'm sure you get the idea!

The homeowner caused us to start two weeks late. He also caused a one week delay when he didn't use pit run(like I advised) to backfill the area where the garage foundation and slab were being placed. Well it was the four inches of rain in two days that caused it but pit run would have dried out. Instead he had the area re-excavated and filled in with pit run. I also blame him for the cement truck delay since i could have got ready mix from a relaible plant that was 40 miles farther away than the one he used. There were many changes made that casued delays and extras added on that he seemed to not factor in on the timeline.

The biggest problem was when i refused to put the garage doors in three days after the garage slab was poured when i had it sealed and heated. I missed a day because my diesel gelled up and when i came to work the next day he had other contractors installing the garage doors. They left the cement exposed outside all day and it was -10 degrees outside. I told the homeowner he just voided any warranty on the slab and i was no longer responsible for it.

Then the next day a crew of guys showed up on my jobsite and started to insulate and sheetrock the inside. The homeowner told me to go outside and side the house. I told him i would sheetrock and finish the inside and side the house afterwards since it was 5 degress outside. He told me he wanted it sided first so we went outside and sided the house came inside and finished the house like the contract specified.

As far as I see it i did the best i could, we were working 50-60 hrs a week trying to keep on schedule but without being in control of other crews its hard to stay there. When i ask if he breached the contract one reason is he hired someone to do work on the house and expected thier payment to come from my contract money. Also he didn't make a payment on time and when he did three weeks late it was only half the amount. This was before the other crew came in to sheetrock and insulate. He expected me to take 1/3 of the entire contract cost off for the other contractor's work. When I sent him a bill for the extras and what percentage of the work i did(I figured 85% of the contract) he would not pay me at all.

He then used eight shingles blowing off the house in one confined area on a false gable valley as an excuse to not pay me at all. I inspected the house and no other shingles blew off on a 33 sq roof. This was after 80mph wind gusts and the shingles were put on in cold weather. I told him that if he had shingles blow off in many areas there would be a reason for concern. But i would repair the roof at no cost to him. He didn't want me to fix the roof and had another contractor (same on as above) come in and he said the shingles needed to be replaced because once they get wet under the seal tabs they will never seal down. And that they were nailed too high and would all blow off. But when the contractor showed up to inspect the roof he brought shingle samples with him (strange i think)

He now claims he had the whole roof reshingled and doesn't owe me any thing. But he never contacted me with proof from an insurance company that they were uninsurable. And he didn't give me the chance to have an adjuster inspect the roof. Im not even sure he had it reshingled, neither he nor the other contractor will show me the invoice or contract for the job. He also claims he payed a guy that works under me as a self employed carpenter. But i don't think he can legally do that because i don't really know what was paid.

I need to know if what he did breached our contract? The contract had no set completion date and had a schedule of payments that he did not follow. It also clearly states what labor was not included and what i was not responsible for. I don't know if i should try to sue for damages or not but i got my tools and trailer repossesed for a month and had to pay another guy who worked with me $2200 out of my pocket. I have lost a few jobs because he is slandering my business and we both live in a small community were word of mouth is everything. I have been contracting here for five years with no bad history except this one job and i guess that is all it takes to ruin a reputation!!!
 

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Well, to breach a contract, there would first of all have to be a contract.

What does the contract say? Have a read through and see what it says about the various situations you have described.


Why do I get the feeling that there is no contract?
 

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You need to talk to a lawyer about your contract. Second I would go right now and take detailed pictures of all the work you performed and pictures of the roof. Good luck.
 

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contracted a new house with an attached garage for a guy who wanted to be his own general contractor. All i contracted was labor for the framing, concrete, foundation, etc. He wanted to get his own materials, plumber, electrician, Heating and Cooling, excavating, and provide backfill as well.
Well, it looks like you signed your own death warrent right there. He pulled all the permits himself? He had insurance too? Why would you work for this guy?
 

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Sounds like you are not a GC and have no idea what you are doing or you would not have done a job like that. I would say stick with whatever it is you do and leave the General Contracting to real Contractors. Just sayin!
 

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Lawyer up, or walk away.

If you are just learning the GC routine, a few things to know. Never, never, never agree to use subs you don't have control of. I broke this rule last summer, and never again.

Never, never, never call yourself a GC on a project that you don't have 100% control over.

And finally, use a short and simple contract, that specifies exactly what you will and will not do, and stick with it, including change orders.

I know times are tough, and a lot of contractors will agree to do nearly anything to get work, but working and not getting paid isn't the way to do it. My model for hard times building is the cost plus avenue.
 

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While I only deal with insurance property damage claims, your post sounds like you need a contract law attorney........someone speacializing in construction law.

Your arrangement with the property owner sounds like it has too many variables. With all these changes, do you have a contract with a lot of change orders. In addition, I hope you have or prepared a well documented activity log from Day One. Maybe you can sue for damages, plus slander.

Part of your suit should be were the insured has to post a newspaper advertisement, where the customer publicly acknowledges that he slandered your name or admits that he breached the contract and that you were not at fault.........of course, assuming that you have property documentation for the attorney.

I hope you have plenty of photos.

Occassionally, I deal with property owners like this. In my line of work, we perform Emergency Services for water/fire and bill the carrier. Due to the economy or, where a homeowner is a Know-It-All, we get in conflicts where the customer tries to tell us how to do our job and impedes our efforts to mitigate the loss.

In our Emergency Services work authorization, we have a Stop Work-Hold Harmless clause. If the customer interferes or stops work, we are released from all liability.

I am also using to fighting with insurance companies.

For those contractors, who don't do insurance work, always carry a digital camera and take plenty of photos as the job progresses. Photos don't lie.

In the insurance world, there is a saying, "If it's not in writing, it didn't happen!"
 

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You made all sorts of mistakes, one big one right from the start, that is doing a job for this guy allowing him to run the show. After he did not pay on time you should have pulled off until paid in full. To stay & work for 3 weeks & then to get shorted told the guy that you were his b with an itch so he treated you as such.

It's hard to feel sorry for you when you put yourself in such a position to get screwed.

I'd let it go & mark it up as lesson learned, don't go throwing away good money chasing bad cause I doubt you'll collect from that jerk.
 

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I contracted a new house with an attached garage for a guy who wanted to be his own general contractor. All i contracted was labor for the framing, concrete, foundation, etc. He wanted to get his own materials, plumber, electrician, Heating and Cooling, excavating, and provide backfill as well.
I suggested he hire a plumber and electrician that i am used to working with but he insisted on his guys because they were friends of his. Needless to say they held up the job by about a month, no temporary power, never showed up for work, etc. He ended up firing both of them two months after i was completely finished because they still weren't done. And he hired the guys i reffered to him. The ready mix plant delayed progress for two weeks, i scheduled them with a pump truck(needed because homeowner had excavators put dirt pile 5ft from edge of hole on one side)and they could not make it on time.

The material supplier didn't order materials on time, was three roof trusses short, was always short on everything, had to order siding three times to get enough even when I told him what to order he still shorted me. We even had to prime and paint over twenty five gallons in 1 gallon cans??
I'm sure you get the idea!

The homeowner caused us to start two weeks late. He also caused a one week delay when he didn't use pit run(like I advised) to backfill the area where the garage foundation and slab were being placed. Well it was the four inches of rain in two days that caused it but pit run would have dried out. Instead he had the area re-excavated and filled in with pit run. I also blame him for the cement truck delay since i could have got ready mix from a relaible plant that was 40 miles farther away than the one he used. There were many changes made that casued delays and extras added on that he seemed to not factor in on the timeline.

The biggest problem was when i refused to put the garage doors in three days after the garage slab was poured when i had it sealed and heated. I missed a day because my diesel gelled up and when i came to work the next day he had other contractors installing the garage doors. They left the cement exposed outside all day and it was -10 degrees outside. I told the homeowner he just voided any warranty on the slab and i was no longer responsible for it.

Then the next day a crew of guys showed up on my jobsite and started to insulate and sheetrock the inside. The homeowner told me to go outside and side the house. I told him i would sheetrock and finish the inside and side the house afterwards since it was 5 degress outside. He told me he wanted it sided first so we went outside and sided the house came inside and finished the house like the contract specified.

As far as I see it i did the best i could, we were working 50-60 hrs a week trying to keep on schedule but without being in control of other crews its hard to stay there. When i ask if he breached the contract one reason is he hired someone to do work on the house and expected thier payment to come from my contract money. Also he didn't make a payment on time and when he did three weeks late it was only half the amount. This was before the other crew came in to sheetrock and insulate. He expected me to take 1/3 of the entire contract cost off for the other contractor's work. When I sent him a bill for the extras and what percentage of the work i did(I figured 85% of the contract) he would not pay me at all.

He then used eight shingles blowing off the house in one confined area on a false gable valley as an excuse to not pay me at all. I inspected the house and no other shingles blew off on a 33 sq roof. This was after 80mph wind gusts and the shingles were put on in cold weather. I told him that if he had shingles blow off in many areas there would be a reason for concern. But i would repair the roof at no cost to him. He didn't want me to fix the roof and had another contractor (same on as above) come in and he said the shingles needed to be replaced because once they get wet under the seal tabs they will never seal down. And that they were nailed too high and would all blow off. But when the contractor showed up to inspect the roof he brought shingle samples with him (strange i think)

He now claims he had the whole roof reshingled and doesn't owe me any thing. But he never contacted me with proof from an insurance company that they were uninsurable. And he didn't give me the chance to have an adjuster inspect the roof. Im not even sure he had it reshingled, neither he nor the other contractor will show me the invoice or contract for the job. He also claims he payed a guy that works under me as a self employed carpenter. But i don't think he can legally do that because i don't really know what was paid.

I need to know if what he did breached our contract? The contract had no set completion date and had a schedule of payments that he did not follow. It also clearly states what labor was not included and what i was not responsible for. I don't know if i should try to sue for damages or not but i got my tools and trailer repossesed for a month and had to pay another guy who worked with me $2200 out of my pocket. I have lost a few jobs because he is slandering my business and we both live in a small community were word of mouth is everything. I have been contracting here for five years with no bad history except this one job and i guess that is all it takes to ruin a reputation!!!
That was your 1st mistake, are you a contractor or a laboror?

If you are a contractor you run the job, if you are going to be an employee, punch a clock and get paid by the hour.

Working for clients that bring in their own subs and buy their own material is never a good idea, they want to save money but have no problem screwing up the schedule and wanting you to pay for their mistakes.
 

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Lawyer up and start the lien process ASAP. Intent to lien letter ASAP. If he is paying your guy I would also request his work comp policy and make sure the govt knows he isnt paying unemployment taxes etc....
 

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I contracted a new house with an attached garage for a guy who wanted to be his own general contractor. All i contracted was labor for the framing, concrete, foundation, etc. He wanted to get his own materials, plumber, electrician, Heating and Cooling, excavating, and provide backfill as well.
I suggested he hire a plumber and electrician that i am used to working with but he insisted on his guys because they were friends of his. Needless to say they held up the job by about a month, no temporary power, never showed up for work, etc. He ended up firing both of them two months after i was completely finished because they still weren't done. And he hired the guys i reffered to him. The ready mix plant delayed progress for two weeks, i scheduled them with a pump truck(needed because homeowner had excavators put dirt pile 5ft from edge of hole on one side)and they could not make it on time.

The material supplier didn't order materials on time, was three roof trusses short, was always short on everything, had to order siding three times to get enough even when I told him what to order he still shorted me. We even had to prime and paint over twenty five gallons in 1 gallon cans??
I'm sure you get the idea!

The homeowner caused us to start two weeks late. He also caused a one week delay when he didn't use pit run(like I advised) to backfill the area where the garage foundation and slab were being placed. Well it was the four inches of rain in two days that caused it but pit run would have dried out. Instead he had the area re-excavated and filled in with pit run. I also blame him for the cement truck delay since i could have got ready mix from a relaible plant that was 40 miles farther away than the one he used. There were many changes made that casued delays and extras added on that he seemed to not factor in on the timeline.

The biggest problem was when i refused to put the garage doors in three days after the garage slab was poured when i had it sealed and heated. I missed a day because my diesel gelled up and when i came to work the next day he had other contractors installing the garage doors. They left the cement exposed outside all day and it was -10 degrees outside. I told the homeowner he just voided any warranty on the slab and i was no longer responsible for it.

Then the next day a crew of guys showed up on my jobsite and started to insulate and sheetrock the inside. The homeowner told me to go outside and side the house. I told him i would sheetrock and finish the inside and side the house afterwards since it was 5 degress outside. He told me he wanted it sided first so we went outside and sided the house came inside and finished the house like the contract specified.

As far as I see it i did the best i could, we were working 50-60 hrs a week trying to keep on schedule but without being in control of other crews its hard to stay there. When i ask if he breached the contract one reason is he hired someone to do work on the house and expected thier payment to come from my contract money. Also he didn't make a payment on time and when he did three weeks late it was only half the amount. This was before the other crew came in to sheetrock and insulate. He expected me to take 1/3 of the entire contract cost off for the other contractor's work. When I sent him a bill for the extras and what percentage of the work i did(I figured 85% of the contract) he would not pay me at all.

He then used eight shingles blowing off the house in one confined area on a false gable valley as an excuse to not pay me at all. I inspected the house and no other shingles blew off on a 33 sq roof. This was after 80mph wind gusts and the shingles were put on in cold weather. I told him that if he had shingles blow off in many areas there would be a reason for concern. But i would repair the roof at no cost to him. He didn't want me to fix the roof and had another contractor (same on as above) come in and he said the shingles needed to be replaced because once they get wet under the seal tabs they will never seal down. And that they were nailed too high and would all blow off. But when the contractor showed up to inspect the roof he brought shingle samples with him (strange i think)

He now claims he had the whole roof reshingled and doesn't owe me any thing. But he never contacted me with proof from an insurance company that they were uninsurable. And he didn't give me the chance to have an adjuster inspect the roof. Im not even sure he had it reshingled, neither he nor the other contractor will show me the invoice or contract for the job. He also claims he payed a guy that works under me as a self employed carpenter. But i don't think he can legally do that because i don't really know what was paid.

I need to know if what he did breached our contract? The contract had no set completion date and had a schedule of payments that he did not follow. It also clearly states what labor was not included and what i was not responsible for. I don't know if i should try to sue for damages or not but i got my tools and trailer repossesed for a month and had to pay another guy who worked with me $2200 out of my pocket. I have lost a few jobs because he is slandering my business and we both live in a small community were word of mouth is everything. I have been contracting here for five years with no bad history except this one job and i guess that is all it takes to ruin a reputation!!!

If he pulled the crap about hiring other guys to rock and finish and wouldn't let me perform under the contract I had with him, if your contract is strong enough you have him dead.

First lawyer up. Lien the property. Then have your new lawyer send him a letter demading full payment.
This should get the ball rolling. You most likely will not be paid for awhile, but if your contract is strong enough eventually you will prevail.

Trust me he has done things wrong, not the least of which is allowing you to complete the job, correct mistakes on the roof etc.. It sounds like he is listening to other contractors to your detriment!

Good luck.

Take time to go to the intro section and introduce yourself!:thumbsup:
 

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If you supplied labor only, and he was in charge, in terms of direction, setting the pace, providing instruction, where to work and what to work on, when to come and when to go, etc., then you and your helpers were his employees.

As employees, you should be paid, and your employer is required to pay his part of the FICA, provide workers compensation insurance, and maybe more.
 

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I don't know the laws in your state, but in N J if you don't have a start and completion date, the contract isn't valid.
I agree with most other posters, lawyer up. And if your going to be in this business, have the lawyer draw up a sample contract that meets all the criteria in your state or city.
If you do sue, expect him to claim you damaged his property and he'll look to counter claim against you.
And forget about slander; that never works.
 
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