Cut My Losses or Keep Harassing My Contract Who has Been Paid?

7 Replies

Hi everyone,

I am flipping a house and paid my contractor in full because (newbie mistake!) from pictures it looked like it was done (I'm 1 1/2 hours away). There are still some time consuming things left to finish, namely ripping custom sized doors to size. He is currently overbooked and his team has moved on, he just shows up to finish nights and weekends (it was supposed to be finished early July). He is still coming...if I harass him via text message, it is just really slow going and over deadline. 

I'm trying to decide how to proceed. I paid via PayPal business and feel fairly certain I can get reimbursed as needed to pay someone else to finish, I found him through my realtor and although she is aware of the situation I could ask her to step in and put some pressure on him since he gets a lot of business from her, I have lawyers who can help me out. I could also hire a handyman and eat the additional $1k cost. I don't want things to get nasty, just ready to move on from my mistake of being way too relaxed of a project manager. I'd be grateful if any experienced flippers have suggestions on how to proceed. 

Thanks...and if anyone knows a great contractor in San Antonio I am definitely in the market! :D 

Updated over 2 years ago

Update: the situation resolved itself!

I would definitely get your realtor friend involved. He knows that he will potentially lose lots more business if the realtor knows the situation. Hopefully that will help. Get a date of several days from now that everything has to be done. They are counting on you giving up and then they do not have to finish. Keep on them. The problem is that there is so much business right now, people are hiring just about anybody just to get started on their project.

I try to pay on Friday, but will go to the jobsite just about everyday and remind the contractor if they want to get paid on Friday, they have to have X and Y done by that time AND done right. If not, they do not get paid. I have had people VERY mad at me, but it was their fault, not mine.

ps Dont do a rehab that you can not check on every day or every other day. When you are an hour+ away, contractors will take advantage, AND of course you know NOT to pay until you have seen in person everything that needs to be done. That last draw keeps them from doing this to you.

Thanks so much Rick, nice to see you’re based in San Antonio too (I live in Austin but am flipping in SA)! I’m actually already started on another flip there but I agree it needs so much more oversight than I have provided. If you have any good people there, please let me know, I need to grow my network obviously.   



@Genny Giambalvo The same thing happened to me recently when I partnered with someone while I was working in Alaska. I have since hired 8 people and am finishing a remodel on my own property and also performing remodeling for other investors. I agree that the realtor should be able to put some pressure on the contractor and would probably be the best place to start, but you might have to go with the next available option to finish it soon. You might be able to get them to agree to reimburse you for what you have to spend on finishing the project. If they care about their reputation, they will either finish the project or reimburse you.

If you can't get them to finish, let me know and I can take a look and see what I can do to help you out. The main thing is to get it finished as quickly as possible so that you can put it on the market.

Thanks for your reply Mike! I will definitely add you as a contact and keep you in mind for my next project. 

So my harassing text messaging seemed to mostly work, he is now mostly done but he never ordered carpet for my house so I ordered it from Lowe’s on 7/18. They said it won’t be available to install until the week after next which is super frustrating. I never paid him for the carpet but he quoted me $1800 and the lowest price I could get is $2900. Haven’t even broached that with him. He never tiled the downstairs bedrooms which is why it went over but it’s not explicitly in writing so I think I have to eat that cost. I know he had intended to tile the bedrooms and it wasn’t an honest miscommunication because we purchased enough tile for those rooms and it’s sitting downstairs.

I will let my realtor know what is going on and ask her to put some pressure on him, he started sending me passive aggressive invoices since I’ve pressured him to finish the work, charging an extra $40 dollars for drive time to get toilets etc out of the blue, telling me that I would be responsible for watering the sod or it would die (even though I’m in Austin). 

It’s been a pretty disappointing experience since I bought his son an Amazon Gift Card for his birthday recently, really went over the top to be an awesome client, but from what I’ve heard this is par for the course so I guess that’s on me.

In the grand scheme of things it all worked out and house will be in the market soon! 



@Genny Giambalvo Unfortunately it does seem to be par for the course more often than it should be. I'm happy to hear that you have most of your issues resolved. Hopefully it's smooth sailing from here on out, and hopefully you'll be able to sell the property quickly.

If the tile was already purchased, they should have installed it and likely just didn't want to spend the extra time on the job since they've already been paid. There are also several companies in San Antonio that will install carpet within days of your order if you ever run into this issue in the future.