what recourse do i have?

December 6, 2007

okay, first sorry if this is long, but it has been a nightmare and dont know what to do next.

back in feb of '06 we got a grant from a local orginization (housing revitalization) who gets the money from our town. the grant covered new windows and doors, new roof, some remodeling (new insulation and sheetrock) and lots of electrical, including new meter, breaker panel, outlets, some lights and most of the wiring replaced. the specs called for all the wiring in the house to be replaced.

the bids were put out, and the contractor was hired. the guy who runs the grant program told us that once he was hired, he basiclly worked for us, and all they did was make sure the work was completed (note: not make sure it was done right... just completed)

at the time, we decided to do some work ourselves. our master bedroom had mold from a leaking window, so we decided to gut it at the same time the contractor was doing work to make it easier for him to do the rewiring. we also did this with our bathroom.

we had lots of problems with the contractor throughout the job. we have some things that were documented as concerns with the grant program that the contractor was supposed to fix and never did.

when the job was "done", we were required to sign off on it. we were told we were signing off on "completed work" and if something was wrong, it was our job to take up with the contractor. he had to guarentee all his work 100% for 1 year from the sign off.

job was "completed" in october '06. we continued to have the contractor out for problems (leaking roof, leaking tub he installed, outlets not working, etc).

in jan '07 i was talking to an electrician friend about some stuff (i am learning about doing electrical work) just kind of picking his brain. i asked him a question about junction boxes, and he explained that under no circumstances are you allowed to have one buried behind sheetrock, or anywhere else that was not accessable. instantly i remembered that i saw the contractor put at least 2 of them buried behind sheetrock.

i was very concerned to begin with, so i called in an independant electrical inspector. origionally we had problems with inspections and permits because the grant place never told us WE were responsible for pulling a permit. in our area, the code officer doesnt inspect electrical so an independant is required.

after the inspector we hired left, we had 6 pages of violations of the work this guy did. everything from non grounded 3 prong recepticles that werent gfci protected, to the breaker panel being too far inside the house, to the wiring in the basemtnt. lots of stuff.

so we called a meeting with the code officer, electrical inspector, grant director and contractor. the first thing we found out is that the ONLY inspection done was for the new servince entrance. NONE of the interior wiring was EVER inspected. when we went to sheetrock the bedroom we were responsible for, the contractor told us the inspection was done and okay to close up walls (that was a lie).

the grant director told us that we were on our own with the contractor, and they could not help us.

the contractor kicked and screamed, but agreed to fix the work. this was in feb 2007. here it is december, and he has not finished fixing the stuff he didnt do right in the first place.

now, he has never said he wouldnt fix it. he says he will, then we dont hear from him for a month. then, he will come for 1 day, work 3-4 hours and thats it.

as of right now, we have electrical repairs to be made, windows that werent caulked so they are really drafty, doors that leak, a tub that leaks (and has ruined the tile ceiling below) and a handful of other things that are wrong.

my last meeting with the grant director did not go well. i brouoght up the fact that an inspection was never done on the interior wiring (is stated in the contract that the inspection had to be done for the contractor to be paid for that portion of the job) so how could the job be signed off on? he said it was an oversight on their part, but it was already signed off on. he said our business with them was done, and i should not contact him anymore. i contacted our town supervisor and he said there was nothing he could do. i contacted the contractors insurance company, and they told me that he only has liability, and donesnt cover unfinished/bad jobs.

where do i go next? a laywer? small claims court?

we wish we never got this grant.

please help me!

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