Help! rehab delayed 4 months already

11 Replies

Our contractor was doing well with our SFH. So we continued to use her for our apartment building rehab. The contract sets 180 days for completion. Things seemed to go well at first then started to slow down due to utility problems. It's been almost 4 months past the expected completion date. Still not finished! We're told another month is needed!

How long does it usually take to get all utilities set? (inspection, meter etc for electricity, gas, water) 

I can't believe 5 months delay for this project when we were told it's 6 months' renovation. What shall I do? Help.  Thanks

@Amy Hu it’s a contractors market (as well as sellers market). They have the upper hand unless you wrote the contract scope schedule budget to have a time constraint. Lesson learn for the next one.

Also this is the reason I don’t like sfhs. Vendors are not very professional so I went to mfh and work with bigger company and don’t have to worry about this.

@Amy Hu  if I understand correctly, the apartment buildings are taking 10 months so far for completion?

However being that you are the owner, aren't you the one that sets those appointments up for utilities? If so, I would follow up with the utility companies and see if everything is on. If they are, then I would let your contractor know that she has 2 days to get back in there working, if not, she will be fired. Then just move on.

What I have learned is you have to be pro-active with the contractors otherwise they will take advantage. If they don't show up for 2 days straight, then start looking for someone else. Time is money as you know. 

Good luck!

The delays you mention seem excessive, that said, if the delays are due to the local utility company (some are common but not that long) then you don’t have a lot of options but I am feeling like the contractor here has caused at least some of the delays. This is why it is so important to have a solid contract with your contractors and subs. I would suggest including penalties for future contracts 

@Amy Hu Help your contractor to push utility schedule up. You as the homeowner have the ability to call utility companies to fastrack their schedule, some utility companies are really slow though. Penalties are great in this situation, then again, we don’t know the whole story. Why would an apartment renovation take 6 months? How many units are there? 200?

Utilities can take a while , thats generally not the contractors fault . Now all the other work can still proceed even without utilities . 

@Amy Hu   I see your post was 2 months ago, so how's it going? 

In your post you didn't give enough information for anyone to be able to tell you where the problem lies. Is it simple hookups, or installing new lines, meter, etc.? What you need to do is find out what specifically the problem with the utilities are. You are the homeowner and any permits, etc. are done in your name. Ask the contractor for the contact person they are dealing with at the utility company, and all the pertinent information (job number, contact person, etc.), then call them. 

Utilties in southern CA are something like most people will never have to deal with. The utility companies are HUGE, and they can take months to do their work (engineering, site inspections, plan reviews, etc.) In addition the local building departments have to sign off on the design etc. before it's submitted to utility company.  However; there is someone at the utility company that is assigned each job, and you can call to speak with them, or leave a message. Keep it simple. What you want to know is what the status of your project as far as getting utilities. 

In Redding, CA I am trying to get a separate meter installed on an ADU unit. I applied to PG&E and paid $1500 for engineering review in October of 2017. They sent out someone last week to look at the job. I am now #7 in the line, and once I get to #1, it will still take 16 more weeks to get approved (and that's with us digging the trenches) They said they are just so backed up, that's how long it takes. Thankfully the unit has electric, just not a separate meter!

It's impossible to hold schedules in CA anymore unless it's very basic. The utility companies gobbling up the smaller utilities has created a nightmare to deal with. 

Thanks for all your kind response.

To sum up, we were ripped off by our realtor/contractor.  We learned our lesson the hard way. I'll write down my experience later to share with fellow investors, especially those who invest out of state. 

Please be careful who you work with, do thorough background check, use third party to check work and never pay full amount till rehab is completed and inspected.

@Bob Prisco , this is very nice of you to offer to help Amy out of this horrible situation.  Knowing that there are good people like you out there gives me confidence that it's ok to purchase away from home, and it speaks highly of your character.

You need another contractor. They are out doing side jobs making quick money instead of working on your project. Fire them. Time is money.

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