What to Do When Your Contractor Is Taking Too Long
It’s estimated that remodeling can take anywhere from two to six months to complete. However, the exact timeframe will depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the plans, size of the home, and of course, reliability of the contractor. Many homeowners become frustrated when they feel that their contractor is taking way too long to complete a project. If your contractor is dragging his feet, follow these tips:
It’s best for homeowners to communicate with contractors in writing so there is a record of the conversation. If you communicate with a contractor over the phone or in-person, it’s recommended that you jot down a brief overview of the conversation immediately afterwards. This is important because you will need to know exactly what was discussed and when it was discussed if you plan on taking legal action against your contractor for taking too long.
Keep A Record of the Timeline
You should also keep track of the days the contractor works and the progress that is being made in your home. Take photos at the end of every workday or workweek so you have evidence of the work that has been completed. Without this evidence, it will be your word against the contractor’s if you decide to take legal action in the future.
Do Not Make Remaining Payments
Nothing motivates a contractor more than money. If your contractor is not showing up when he’s supposed to or causing unnecessary delays, it’s in your best interest to hold off on the remaining payments until he makes an effort to speed up the project. The remaining payments can be used as leverage to get your contractor back to work so he can finish the job as soon as possible.
Hire A New Contractor
Reread the contract you signed to determine if there is a way for you to opt out of the agreement due to the extended timeline. If so, then the best option may be canceling the contract and finding a new contractor to complete the job. However, it’s important to make sure you have received everything you’ve paid for prior to canceling the contract.
For example, if you’ve paid the contractor to purchase new kitchen appliances, make sure these are in your possession before firing the contractor. Transitioning to a new contractor is easy if everything is in your possession. If you have not received everything you’ve paid for, it may be necessary to take legal action.
Take Legal Action
Homeowners can often settle disputes with contractors in small claims court. You don’t need an attorney to take a case to small claims court, however you will need to compile evidence against your contractor. Find a copy of the contract and gather all of the documented communications, timelines, invoices, and photos of the contractor’s work. This evidence will show the court the extent of the contractor’s delays and the financial impact of these delays.
Filing the appropriate paperwork with the small claims court will show the contractor that you are serious. Sometimes, this is enough to convince the contractor to pick up the speed and finish the job to avoid legal trouble.
Homeowners should never let a contractor get away with dragging out a remodeling project for months and months. Take control of the remodel–and your home–by following these tips to deal with a contractor that is taking far too long.