I think i should fire my contractor, but don't know how to protect myself.
December 1, 2010 1:50 PM Subscribe
I want to fire my contractor, who is doing a sloppy and unsatisfactory job of renovating my bathroom. I've never been a situation like this before (of hiring someone to do work on my home, and also of firing somebody) and could use some advice from people who have been through this process on whether or not i should fire him, and if i should, how to go about it with minimal collateral damage.
posted by Kololo to work & money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I own a condo in a 30 year old building. Because it's a concrete box, this means that the walls and floors are perfectly flat and square. Ergo, there should be minimal problems. This has not been the case.
Here's an incomplete list :
- He installed the tiles on my floor so unevenly that you can practically trip over some of them, and they aren't evenly spaced (he said he'd re-do them, but i'm not that confident in his abilities)
- He built a little wall niche beside my sink that isn't even square (the bottom is 1/2 inch narrower than the top.)
- His assistant did the plumbing for the new tub/shower, and because he hasn't put on the wall yet, i can tell it's leaking (which would have caused major water damage later on, had i not pointed it out to him.)
- He totally scratched up the seat lid of my brand new toilet, by using it as a table when he needed to set down his tools
- He has insisted that i have an unresolvable problem with my sink/vanity (which is european, and requires a bit of finicky work to get it to fit the canadian plumbing set up). I had a plumber look at it, who advised on a solution, saying that it was a simple thing my contractor could do. When i sent him an email about it (along with a list of the above problems) the only reply i got was "ask the plumber to do it". (which, of course, is an added cost to me.)
- My new tub is mounted on these wood blocks, which are supposed to be cemented to the floor and to the tub, but they aren't affixed at all - the tub is just sitting on them, and i can sort of nudge the blocks with my feet. He's already caulked the edge of the tub, which makes me think he's not planning on fixing this problem.
I am losing confidence in his ability to fix these problems, mostly because i feel a competent contractor wouldn't have created this long a list of problems to begin with. There is a substantial amount of drywall/finishing work that needs to be done as well, and that requires a pretty good eye for detail.
An important detail: we do not have a contract. We have a series of emails listing the work and providing a quote and agreeing to the quote. That's it. He quoted me $2k for materials (of which i guesstimate he's spent about $1k), and $3k for labour. I've only paid him the 2k. I've also spent a lot of money on things like scratched up toilets. In total, it should be about $12000 for the whole reno. (Although now it'll be more, because i have decided to have someone else do the tiling, and i need to pay a plumber to do the sink/vanity work. )
So, my question to you, Mefites:
1) Should i fire him? Or should i simply get these other tradespeople to do those sub-jobs and hound him about fixing the rest? If i don't fire him, how can i make him do a better job?
2) If i fire him, how much should i be paying him? He's spent a total of about 4 full time days at my place.
3) If i fire him, what do i need to worry about from a legal/financial perspective?
4)If i fire him, how do i go about it? I'm nervous.
5) If i fire him, how easy will it be to find someone else to finish this 30% done job?
This has all been a bit of a nightmare. Thanks in advance for your help.
(Oh, also: I'm in downtown toronto. If you have recos for someone for me to hire to complete the job, i'm open to them!)