Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i wrote about this new customer (GC) of mine a while back..payment issues

i did 3 projects.....he finally sent a check for 2 of them and $88 towards the 3rd project.....i went through the threats,letters, starting the lien process on project 1.....finally he paid after lying 3x about when he mailed the check......now project 3 is 15 days past due and i started the lien process on it...$488 is all he owes.....he is ignoring my phone calls and emails.....i am planning on contacting the homeowner this next week and letting them know whats going on....i typically wait 30-45 days overdue (i give 30 days to pay, so 30 days over due means 60 days)

but since he's not communicating i figure why wait.....maybe the project is not done yet and the homeowner still owed him some $$...this way i can go around the GC

whenever ive had payment issues its always been $500 or less.....i find it sad that a GC doesnt have $488 to pay me
 

·
GC/carpenter
Joined
·
43,916 Posts
Every notice you send him send a copy to the HO. The HO needs to be in the loop. Then quit working for people that keep your money. When I get Draws for a job, I don't consider that my money until all the subs and vendors are paid. I'm just the steward of the gold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
My opinion only! If I had a issue on project #1 with no pay/trouble/etc. there would not be #2 or #3 project! Let them find some other sucker to do the work!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,886 Posts
i wrote about this new customer (GC) of mine a while back..payment issues

i did 3 projects.....he finally sent a check for 2 of them and $88 towards the 3rd project.....i went through the threats,letters, starting the lien process on project 1.....finally he paid after lying 3x about when he mailed the check......now project 3 is 15 days past due and i started the lien process on it...$488 is all he owes.....he is ignoring my phone calls and emails.....i am planning on contacting the homeowner this next week and letting them know whats going on....i typically wait 30-45 days overdue (i give 30 days to pay, so 30 days over due means 60 days)

but since he's not communicating i figure why wait.....maybe the project is not done yet and the homeowner still owed him some $$...this way i can go around the GC

whenever ive had payment issues its always been $500 or less.....i find it sad that a GC doesnt have $488 to pay me
get better builders
 

·
water re-locater
Joined
·
7,511 Posts
Gave up a pretty decent sized project few years ago.. Builder would make every sub wait at least 90 and even then wasn't a guarantee.. Work was slow so everyone just dealt with it...I finally kept rasing my price to the point where I was gonna get paid for the aggravation or get fired...He told me if I can match some other company he found guy I could stay..no thanks...Well worth the piece of mind of not having the constant emails, phone calls, visits to the office trying to collect...Id do it again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
I still can't think of the builders you work for that are like this.

When I used to do work for builders I always got payments according to our agreed upon payment schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i have a bunch of great builders....but im always looking for more

i send fliers out to all the builders in the area, so i get opportunities for new builders several time a year....its almost always the small/little guys...the ones you never really heard of that cause payment issues...

i go through this 1-2x a year....i always win, but it takes a while to move the process...

i did 3 projects for this guy because he had them all lined up ...every week a new project, so i had 3 projects done before payment on project 1 was due....he asked me to do a 4th project, but that was after he had been late to pay, so i said no thanks...he seemed angry

i also had another new builder a few weeks ago....sounded similar, so i passed on the job after doing a check on some of his other subs...they all said he was a slow payer

at some point every builder is a new builder and you have to take a chance on them being a good payer or a bad one....i am getting fussier

i now have a discussion of payment and past payment issues before taking on any new builder(gc)....the payment problem with new builders is like 33-50% bad over the past 2 years.....sometimes i think i already have all the good paying builders as customers...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
He didn't say builder he said GC. It is easy to do two or three jobs for someone like this if you are waiting 30 days to be paid. While you are waiting you start the next one and several days or a week later but before the 30 days you start number three.
I know as I recently had the same experience with a new GC I did some sub work for. I only did two jobs but one was for several K and I am still waiting for that check. The GC I am waiting on was highly recommended by my lumber yard owner. I am sure I will get paid but I think it is mis-management that it takes more than 30 days to be paid.
I agree with you Huggy - 45 days would be my limit before taking some sort of action. If you need the work than the lien process is not the way to go. That will only foster bad feelings. However if you do not plan on working for him again.....
In my case - I expressed my feelings to the GC only. The pay is not great but it is all local and this past winter was so slow that I am still behind where I should be at this time of year.
Bill T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gave up a pretty decent sized project few years ago.. Builder would make every sub wait at least 90 and even then wasn't a guarantee.. Work was slow so everyone just dealt with it...I finally kept rasing my price to the point where I was gonna get paid for the aggravation or get fired...He told me if I can match some other company he found guy I could stay..no thanks...Well worth the piece of mind of not having the constant emails, phone calls, visits to the office trying to collect...Id do it again...
my issue is that the amounts owed are always a couple of hundred...its never thousands....i assume these gc's use different subs on ever job and screw them all....most subs dont bother spending the time and effort for $488 like i do....

this guy im having the issues with is different this time....most pay immediately upon the threat of lien or homeowner contact....this guy is silent.....it tells me he has $0 in his bank account....ive only run into this 1x before.....when i threaten to contact the homeowner i typically have a check in hand in 1 hour
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
YEP! I think that the small claims, magistrate thing? Not worth the effort! That is what they hope for!! It seems to be under $500 every time!
 

·
water re-locater
Joined
·
7,511 Posts
sorry he did say GC not builder my bad...Chasing money sucks regardless of who owes it to you..... Most of the GC's I work for are on the smaller side so money hasn't been a problem. They need gutters for the C/O here or for final payment so they are pretty good to me.. Comes with the business I guess I used to hear my dad talk about collecting all the time when I was a kid..I hear ya about the lien threat have done it many times..Just frustrating that it gets to that point over a small amount of money..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Always be ahead when it comes to payments whether they are coming from GC's or directly from homeowners. Your job is to perform your service or trade, not finance the project.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
31,114 Posts
3 basic street rules:

1 Get the money up front
2 Get the money up front
3 Get the money up front

Sometimes it's the only way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
Money up front is normally reserved for homeowners only.

I wish everyone paid in thirty days, some don't.

My worst recently was a house flipper who still doesn't understand the concept of change order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
sending out the information/threat letter to the homeowner...letting them know i havent been paid and that i have started the lien process against them....im sure they will be very happy in a few days when they get the letter...its been 7 weeks, so odds are they have paid the GC already......im going to be very nice and accept a partial payment from them if they have to pay twice........ill be getting a nice phone call this friday or sat from an upset homeowner....i hate it when it comes to this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Customers that are slow to pay or don't pay at all aren't customers worth having. We always have our payment terms in the payment schedule within our contract. All Change Orders are paid for at time of signing.

Good luck to you in getting paid, I know what a hassle that is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i will spend hours fíng around to get $488....its ALWAYS $200-400 range....and its never really worth my time....i do it because i refuse to lose.

im so tired of going through this 1-2x a year for 8 years now that im going to have a long talk with any new potential customers about this issue before working for them....tell them ahead of time that im a hard ass w/ collections from day 1....scare off the POS customers

i have enough builders right now.....id always like more, but i dont NEED more
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
i will spend hours fíng around to get $488....its ALWAYS $200-400 range....and its never really worth my time....i do it because i refuse to lose.

im so tired of going through this 1-2x a year for 8 years now that im going to have a long talk with any new potential customers about this issue before working for them....tell them ahead of time that im a hard ass w/ collections from day 1....scare off the POS customers

i have enough builders right now.....id always like more, but i dont NEED more
90% of your problems come from 10% of your clients.

Getting dicked around for a few bucks now and then is as sure thing as death and taxes.
 

·
General Contractor
Joined
·
8,081 Posts
Why are you still there to tell about it? After your first issue, this should have been over and done with.

With that said, just sent certified letter to the HO saying that you will be including them in a lawsuit because the builder haven't met his obligations paying you for the job you completed on theirs residence.

You will see how fast the checks will coming in.

Good luck
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Top