Advice on contractor woes

6 Replies

Hello there BP land!
I am in the final home stretch of an intense 1857 historic rehab. We have been going since may and are down to just refinishing the floors and a few final touches. I hired a guy who came with decent references to refinish the floors over a month ago. He said the whole building would take 2 weeks. He has sanded one room and half of another and hasn't shown up since. I am not nearly as intimidating as I need to be so I had my father and my contractor both call him he has promised to show many days and is never there. I've had to push back the photographer twice now and I'm afraid getting deeper in to winter it is going to get harder to sell.

Any advice on what I should do about this guy? Everyone else is booked out at least a month. Should I just rent a sander and see if I can do it my self? Sounds dangerous

Srop him and get the next competent person on the schedule. Waiting will mean waiting forever.

Do not try to sand the floors yourself. It is harder than it looks  

agreed, fire that dude, get someone else. hope you didn't pay him up front or half first. and i agree with aaron, don't do it yourself. it's worth the money to get it done right.

If you didn't pay him find someone else

2wks job?  Is he sanding the floors with his bare hands?

Unfortunately I paid him 1/2 down.
I called around and most places are booked out a month or more.
Found a guy out of Minnesota who can start next Friday and work through the weekend but if he doesn't finish I'll be varnishing my self. I just up just have to get my lawyer to write a grumpy letter to the first guy and hope I get at least part of the down payment back

sorry to hear that happened. we had a plumber do something similar after we paid half first. and then after about 4 weeks he just showed up and finished, no rhyme or reason. very frustrating.

As others have said, don't try to do it yourself.  I'm pretty handy and ended up damaging some nice 100 year old maple floors when I got carried away with a drum sander.  

It's an expensive lesson learned.  Contractors that don't have a big cash outlay for materials shouldn't need any money down - painting, landscaping and floor refinishing both come to mind.  Before you send the legal letter, call the contractor and explain what you are doing and politely ask for your money back.  Figure out what his work in place is worth to you (being fair) and offer him to keep x%.  If you ask for all of it back, you may get none of it.  If that fails, then send the letter drafted by your attorney.  Attorney letters put people in defense mode right away so it's better to try the human approach first before taking that measure.  Good Luck!

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