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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I was looking for solutions for my situation and found this site. Maybe someone can offer their experience or advise.

I'm a designer/contractor and specialize in kitchens and baths. I've been in business 6 years and all my business comes by referral. One of my favorite clients gave my name to a co-worker and they contracted me for a simple kitchen face-lift: paint cabinets white, new backsplash, convert 220 electrical to 110 for new range...etc. simple stuff.

Anyway, I am finished except for a little touch-up on the cabinets which are oak and some of the radius spots are showing a little grainy. Maybe 4 spots total. The island was painted a dark gray in oil and there are a couple spots that got smudged before it was dry so it needs that fixed as well.

When I took the job they said they would provide paint and tile so I did not include in my bid but offered to purchase it at my cost and they would reimburse me. I got tile and paint at my cost and gave the receipts to customer. The job went so quickly I didn't collect the second draw at 50% completion. I just requested the second draw and the reimbursement for tile and paint w only some touch up left before the holiday. The lady refused and said she is not happy w paint job. She was very happy when we were finished and I assured her we would come back and fix all the imperfections after thanksgiving. In the meantime she had another painter come in and told me we needed to"part ways". I told her she still had to pay me. She is refusing. The first payment covered the tile and paint and a little more. The kitchen looks great but she admittedly has OCD and she sees things that aren't there!

What can I do?!? All my past clients have been wonderful and 100% satisfied. Many have become friends. I guess I became too trusting and I'm now getting screwed out of $3000!

My husband says she is just trying to get a free kitchen remodel. I'm shocked. Any advise would be appreciated..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks I will go and do that for sure. problem is in passing conversation found out her house is paid for so probably won't see money from that anytime soon. I'm screwed for now aren't I?
 

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Might not be worth it to file a lien. For that amount, I would probably threaten the lien and keep sending a bill with interest. This is why we have the whole draw schedule. You want to stay ahead of the job, not vice versa.
 

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T-towngirl said:
Thanks I will go and do that for sure. problem is in passing conversation found out her house is paid for so probably won't see money from that anytime soon. I'm screwed for now aren't I?
Most of the time, and I say this loosely, a simple preliminary lien notice let's them know you are serious about this, even for 3000.00. People are very touchy when it comes to a lien on their property. Also I have to ask did you have a contract, doesn't mean you can't file a lien but it probably means you won't be able to collect. She may not know this rule and as long as she thinks you are filing a lien it might do the trick.
 

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Handle this very professional, you must first send her a bill every two weeks for a couple cycles. Put a copy of your lien rights in each bill. Then send her a preliminary lien notice. Let her know you aren't going away.
 

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T-towngirl said:
Yes I have a contract w $ upfront, $ at 50% completion and final pmt. I only received first payment
This is good, you are already a notch above most who come on here looking for help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BUT. I forgot to amend it for the materials she said she was providing and I picked up for her. I just added it to final invoice but didn't put it in contract
 

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Are there contractor licensing requirements in your state?

This early in your career at worst you paid for some education...

and read my tag line.....
 

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T-towngirl said:
BUT. I forgot to amend it for the materials she said she was providing and I picked up for her. I just added it to final invoice but didn't put it in contract
Doesn't matter everything you agreed on should be in your bill. Don't start leaving things out because you think you can't legally collect. She will smell it and gain confidence, to not pay you anything. Just my two cents on all this. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are so right! I had gut feeling in the beginning about this chick and should have heeded it. I have learned a lesson. I've had such good luck so far w good clients this really shook me up. I've never been fired before! I now will make sure I protect myself no matter how nice people seem
 
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