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jane_whitaker75

contractor aruging over everything

Jane Whitaker
June 10, 2019
last modified: June 10, 2019

Hoboken, New Jersey contractor started the job 8 weeks ago moving the kitchen to where the existing living room was, making the old kitchen into a 2nd bedroom, gutting and remodeling bathroom and installing the new kitchen along with the electrical and plumbing required for the job.

in the contract it is clearly written that there is a 4k allowance for the shaker style cabinets the contractor (who seems to dabble in woodworking} makes at his shop. this is itemized and written into the bottom line. then throughout the process we saw some examples of the cabinets and they really looked poorly made so we started shopping for the cabinets on our own because he really did not seem very motivated to assist us in the process. as soon as we told him we were going to go RTA and take the cabinets out of the bid he produced cabinet samples from some unknown source. we are now under a lot of pressure to order cabinets as the reno is being done so we compromised and chose from his samples even though after lengthy discussions and giving him the ones we like we gave up.

then he calls us and says that the 4k, clearly written as cabinets, is now for materials and not cabinets and he wants 7k more.

he has botched our tile job in the bathroom along with various other things that look rushed and as soon as the guys showed up to work last week he sent them to other sites for supposed service calls.

I had 2 guys hanging out here playing with trim for 5 hours.

in addition he had me order 1300 worth of flooring that I didn't need cause no one made sure of measurements and he took it back to his shop.

there are so many more issues......

we have no bathroom and are wasting so much money. HELP


Comments (76)

  • Jane Whitaker

    so just to follow-up with everyones advice...I spoke to the architect that did our plans and he told me this:

    in Hoboken you can fire your contractor anytime you want without incident. if he has not paid subcontractors that you paid him for then the subs can put a lien on your house for payment. which is a pretty shady thing for a licensed contractor with a 12 year history to do. he also told me that a lot of times the subs don't get paid and are more than happy to work directly for you as their name is listed on the current permits. he also told me that the permits remain open because the city respects the fact that these things happen and the job still has to be completed. that being said I fired him and cancelled the last check I gave him. there is a lot to do but I will figure it out.

  • acm

    Good luck!

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Tell your Architect to stick being an Architect, he is wrong about firing your contractor when you have a signed agreement to do the work for no apparent reason.


    If you have a contract and your contractor is screwing things up, you have to document everything, pictures, text messages, emails, etc. You have to notify him by sending him a letter via certify mail requesting him to do "whatever you need him to do or fix what he screw up". Even if he screwed something up, you have to give him a chance to make it good on it.

    If you don't do all that and you tell him to get lost, he can take you to court for breach of contract.


    That said, if you do everything right and you hire a lawyer, and if the contract you signed doesn't have his NJ license # listed on it, his contract should have a starting and completion date on it, the contract should have a legal wording that you have 3 days to cancel your contract and get all your deposit back, etc all this must be included in the contract by NJ state Law.

    I know not many contractors don't include all that and that is fine as long as they perform the work in a timely manner and good workmanship... but if the case goes to court and contractor screwed up they can find this contract invalid so that will work in your favor.


    So don't fire him before you consult with an attorney and not your Architect.


    Good luck

  • cat_ky

    Let us know how everything works out.

  • bry911

    My 2 cents...

    The statement that, "you can fire a contractor without incident." is a bit vague. In all 50 states you can fire a contractor without incident, but that doesn't mean you can fire one without some penalty. I just read the New Jersey Home Improvement Practices Act and I don't see any mention of a no fault breach (there are certainly other laws).

    Without a lot more detail I couldn't give my neighbor an answer about whether or not they are breaching the contract, or the contractor has already breached the contract. So I don't see how anyone else can comment on whether or not you can fire your contractor without significant problems.

    The reality is that you are in a bad situation, and my real advice is to work the problem. You can spend a fortune in time and money chasing an ideal result only to find that the pursuit was much worse than the original problem. So everything that has happened in the past, is in the past, so get past that to how do you fix it (including any necessary rework of unacceptable portions of the job).

    The best solution might be to consult with an attorney and stick it out with this contractor. Or it might be to have a conversation where you reach some departure settlement with your contractor that costs less than the attorney would. Or it might be a full legal action. Or maybe, even a combination of the first and third.

    Your best course of action, depends on the cost, quality and time of your current contractor versus the cost, quality and time of removing this contractor and replacing him. I would advise you to figure out what result you find acceptable and then work on finding who can get you to that result for an amount of money you are willing to spend in a time you are willing to accept.

    Best of luck.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    I'd get my attorney on site, the building manager on site, an inspector on site. I'd have my contract, the permits which should be POSTED and visible anyway. I'd get the contractor there at the same time. ......................and then stand back.

    You're in way over your head and so is the contractor. I know no multi unit dwelling where someone moved a kitchen to a living room without a MAJOR amount of trouble. Unless a stand alone town house. You . Have . No. Idea. How. True. Below. Mistakes and a lack of rule following and permits and insurance and ....................LIABILITY IS YOURS. Get help and get out now. I smell huge trouble..

    Exactly as above and fact:

    "I doubt the condo association or zoning will allow moving the kitchen and creating an extra bedroom in NJ.

    Also being this a Condo, you have to provide the association with contractor information and they need to be licensed and insured not to mention they must approve the work being done.

    That said I hope you don't get caught because you will be paying a hefty fine, not to mention if they screw up your plumbing or electrical, and something happens down the road causing damage to the building or adjoining units, your insurance will not cover the damages and you will be held liable.

  • Not a Pro

    Please contact licensing board and follow protocols exactly as written.

  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK

    Jane,

    A very specific question.

    What, Where, is the documentation in writing that you have with your condo board before starting this endeavor?

    How many permits are taped to your window/building front door?

    What exactly, word for word do they say and what is the dates?

    "He pulled his own permits" is not an answer.

    We're trying to help you. We own a property in JC, so we get it.

    We're all trying to help you, but you're intentionally being vague and honestly, you're not asking the right question.

    Upper Hoboken is bangin' right now, especially since the Trader Joe's opened.

    Don''t F this up.

  • bry911

    With respect to those trying to help, I am not sure I agree with the advice. I agree that having things done correctly is the best option, however, if that didn't happen alerting everyone to things not being correct is not always the next best option. The milk isn't going back in the cow on this one, so whether or not it was properly approved by the condo board before you started is a different question than what you should do now.

    Certainly, if things didn't go through the proper approval process with all applicable parties, there is some risk there, but how best to manage that risk is specific to individual situations.

  • bry911

    not to mention if they screw up your plumbing or electrical, and something happens down the road causing damage to the building or adjoining units, your insurance will not cover the damages and you will be held liable.

    I don't want to start drama, but this is typically not true. Most insurance is open peril and unless specifically excluded your insurance will usually cover the damage to adjoining units and building caused by improper work. I have heard about this mysterious open peril policy which excludes faulty work of other paid by you, however, I have never seen a single example. That is what insurance is designed to do, protect you from the negligence of others and protect them from your negligence. The idea that insurance will not cover work done by a contractor hired by you, is no more rational than car insurance not covering an accident that you caused.

    Having said that, insurance might decline coverage of a significant unreported improvement, with or without permits. Which, I believe, is where this myth comes from.

    ETA: Condo insurance (HO6) is a bit different as to who covers what. However, even walls in coverage will include damage originally caused by your unit or your contractor that radiated out.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    HAH! while you're at it, check the insurance of the condo assoc as well. Any place loosey goosey enough not to be in your face through this, is the same one that will have to assess all units when something happens that affects the entire building/prperty, and theirs doesn't cover the damage.

    I'll give you my sisters phone. She'll be happy to regale the fire that resulted from her neighbors contractor brother who burned 14 owners out of their homes. That owner/ neighbor fled the state. Lets put it this way.........the insurance companies weren't happy. Neither were the rest of the owners as they were assessed 8k, and 13k respectively to replace two buildings in total. Everyone sued everyone.

    Nineteen years hence, you can't so much as change a light bulb or sink faucet without climbing through "fire". Nobody won, everyone lost. Ms Stein and her brother wisely relocated.

    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court-appellate-division/1006177.html



  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    @Bry


    That makes no sense. " The idea that insurance will not cover work done by a contractor hired by you, is no more rational than car insurance not covering an accident that you caused"



    When any incident happens and you submit claims to the insurance company, insurance company comes out and investigates what happened... If they find out the incident happened due to faulty work, or work done without a permit the insurance company takes the position that it was the contractors negligence that resulted in the damage or if work was performed without a permit, they will use that as an excuse and they will deny the claim and tell you to go after contractors insurance. Seen that 100 times.

    Now some insurance companies depending on the policy might pay something to whoever suffered the damage but the homeowner might have to pay for their own repairs.


    I yet to see an insurance policy that say that you covered for faulty work done by contractors or anyone else on your property.


    Here is one example, just recently I was estimating a basement job which got flooded due to faulty work. Basement was done without permits... whoever did the basement installed a toilet with ejector pump built-into it. I don't know what they did there but 3 months down the road the toilet blew up and flooded the basement. I told the homeowner to make a claim, he told me that the insurance company came out and they denied the claim and told the homeowner to go after contractors insurance company but the contractor who did the work is not licensed or insured... The homeowner got zilch from his insurance and has to pay out of his own pocket.


    Here is another one... After all the storm we had a friend of my added water damage coverage to his insurance. His roof vent pipe had a small leak he didn't know about it until they started to see black spots on the ceiling below. They had someone come out and they said it was a roof vent. They filed a claim and the insurance company send someone to open up the walls and the ceiling and sure enough there was mold all over the framing. The insurance company denied the claim and didn't cover the repairs because they said a faulty vent pipe is the maintenance issue and they neglected to repair it.


    Here is another one for you... Truck delivering mulch, the driver makes the homeowner signs a ticket that says they are not liable for any property damage. The driver backs up and hits the corner of the house.

    The homeowner files a claim with his insurance company, insurance company contacts trucking insurance company, they provide a waiver signed by the homeowner and homeowners insurance denies the claim, they basically told him flat out he shouldn't let them go on the driveway.


    As the accidents go, if you hit another car it's an accident, of course insurance will pay because that is why people get insurance and that will be a legitimate claim.

    Now if the same person got a ticked for driving drunk and another ticket for reckless driving and he wiped out a utility pole... I'm sure your insurance company cannot wait to write a check for the damages.

    Again. some will pay something, but be ready to fix your own car out of your pocket and you better have a good lawyer to defend you when you utility company goes after you for what your insurance company didn't cover... Again some insurance companies will provide you with a lawyer but if you lose the cost for the damages will come out of your own pocket...


    Insurance company is the last thing you want to depend on if your claims have anything to do with faulty work or negligence, even on legitimate claims people having a hard time to collect and some cases they get the fraction of the damage cost...so myth or not fuggedaboutit, the reality and how things work in the real world prove otherwise.






  • Jane Whitaker

    everything was done through the proper channels and yes they allow moving kitchens in Hoboken. there have been 3 approved and completed renovations of this type in my building alone. I have plans, permits and approval from my condo assoc.





  • Jane Whitaker

    additionally he did such a poor job in my bathroom the entire room has to be retiled. I paid for all the materials. the windows he ordered came wrong. he took out the radiators too soon and my house filled with steam and now he wants me to pay 1900 to him to dry out his mistake. I told him not to take out radiators until heat was off 5/15 and he took them out before they were off. he never protected my new air conditioner or the old one for that matter and they are full of dust. he left debris all over the building and my pregnant neighbor complained and he told us he never should have taken this job. one of his workers took the key and went into our house on a weekend when no one was there and stole his nail gun and left our front door wide open. he gave me a price for an extra of 1500 that I never signed off on and now he wrote it into a new contract and wants 2000. I think hes crazy seriously. who does that? you cant just make up things and new contracts that were never signed and say you owe it. it doesn't work like that.

  • Jane Whitaker

    my electrical passed inspection but is not terminated and many rooms have no power. we have no bathroom. there is trim missing in various places. some is just leaning against the wall not even nailed in. there were nails and headers left on the wall when they were painting. they never cleaned up. I finally had to clean up their debris. there was like 10 inches of dust everywhere. they helped themselves to my step ladder, extra tile, extra flooring, antique radiator covers and extension cord. they left old dusty ceiling fan hanging in brand new bedroom that my husband had to take down. they missed deliveries. it was such a mess but when I saw the bathroom I just couldn't take it anymore. the guy is impossible to deal with you just cant have a conversation with him. he just starts blaming everyone else and the conversation goes no where.

  • Jane Whitaker

    then there was this gem....his guys put in new door and handles. he came here his past Monday and his key didn't work and he couldn't get in. if that is even true because he lies about everything. instead of having one of his guys fix it he blamed me for buying cheap products. who says that to a customer. that has been the tone of the whole job.

  • Jane Whitaker

    also regarding the door locks one of his guys said he still has to fix it because it gave him a lot of trouble. its an old building. he said he specializes in these projects and complained about everything when he started the job. the stairs, the neighbors, the parking …. its Hoboken suck it up.

  • remodeling1840

    Get a lawyer. Period. End of discussion.

  • bry911

    @ GN builders

    First, not covering your own property is different than not covering your neighbors property. Have you ever seen insurance refuse to pay damage caused to others?

    I could recover in some of the cases you mentioned. If you understood the basic principles of insurance law you would understand how many homeowners got taken. Most banks require HO3 coverage, which are all peril policies. Insurance doesn't have the right to deny based on negligence, yours or anyone else's.

    If you read your policy there is a specific list of things that are not covered. Everything else is. EVERYTHING! In most of the situations you mentioned a letter from an attorney would have have gotten a settlement.

    I hate ambulance chasing attorneys, but insurance really is bad about lying. Find a policy that legally excludes damage caused by unpermitted work. You will not. If you do not find that specific exclusion, then they have to cover it.

  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK

    Oh Jane,

    I am so sorry, what a nightmare.

    Do you have tons of pictures I hope? And every single receipt?

    Call your real estate lawyer, the one you used for the purchase of your unit and ask him/her for a recommendation.

    Take your key back/change the locks. Don't let this individual in your unit under any circumstance.

    When you say "no bathroom" does that include no working toilet?

  • bry911

    Just to be more clear, because I was responding to a specific situation. The idea that insurance doesn't cover a loss of a neighbor's property. It does.

    However, I should add some clarification to the answer. Insurance protects you from loss, not costs. Insurance will not cover repair costs just because they were caused by your negligence if those costs are a repair versus loss. The line can get a bit cloudy at times which is why attorneys are often needed, insurance will very often settle higher when attorneys are even loosely involved.

    Here is an example. Suppose you have a new roof installed and you learn that the installation was done incorrectly, when the roof starts leaking. Repairs necessary to the roof caused by faulty workmanship will not be covered by insurance, nor will some water damage to the inside that is predictable because of the leak. Those are repairs and are not a loss. However, if that same roof collapses on the house it will be covered, as now the faulty workmanship has caused a loss.

    There is a gray area in there where the damage from a faulty roof was beyond what was reasonably foreseeable. At that point insurance will kick in, but insurance will want to move that point much farther than is reasonable. So you might have to fight with them just a bit. Usually a few letters will get you to a reasonable solution.

    What is a repair in your structure versus a loss is different in surrounding structures. A claim that would be a repair to you, will usually be a loss to someone else damaged by your repair deficiency.

  • shivece

    Assuming you want the job finished and want to be back in the condo sooner rather than later, you only have two choices. One is to patch up communications and relations with this guy and get him seriously working on a mutually agreed upon scope of work and price. The other is to get him out of there and get someone else in there to finish the work. A good lawyer can help you decide which way makes more sense given the contract, all that has transpired and the work that has been done (or not) - and more importantly, take the appropriate steps necessary to implement the decision. You are so involved in this drama it will be very difficult for you to get this back on track by yourself. Taking care of issues like this efficiently with the desired end result in focus is what good lawyers do for a living. Good luck.

    Jane Whitaker thanked shivece
  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK

    Jane,

    I'm going to assume your building is circa 1900 per upper Hoboken?

    Is your building professionally managed? Many management companies in this area are also licensed contractors (not all but some, like HPM in Hoboken) can you call and find out? See if they can pop over, take a look at your unit and give you their opinion?

    Or if your management company can make a recommendation?

    Jane Whitaker thanked Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    I hope that you can prove the items that are missing -- especially the radiator covers -- do you have any photos that show them? Again, this is THEFT and a different/bigger issue than sloppy work. I would be filing a police report over that -- if he doesn't return your tile, flooring and covers when you demand them. You should look for them on craigslist and ebay.

    Again I ask, are the pipes and wiring in place in the bathroom? By "no bathroom" do you mean down to the studs, no walls, pipes or wiring, or just no fixtures (toilet, sink, tub/shower, faucets)? Since you mentioned poor tile work I assume it is just no fixtures since they couldn't tile without the wall work being done. Putting in fixtures is not complicated and you don't have to rely on him to get it done.

    I would be concerned as to whether he has properly waterproofed under the tile as well, since he seems to be an amateur at this.

    Do not let him do any more work, do not pay him anything else (him asking for more money to fix his own damage is like blackmail!) and CALL A LAWYER.

    How many times to we have to say it? Start protecting yourself NOW.

  • Jora

    Jane, I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. I fully well understand how awful this experience must be for you.

    I haven't read all the responses, so please excuse me if I'm repeating what others may have suggested.

    I would STOP work immediately and contact the Licensing board and explain to them what happened.

    Do NOT give him anymore money (cash, checks, etc.). If you have paid him for any work that he hasn't yet done (including cabinets), or any work that has been sub par, I would detain payment for those items as well.

    You then need to get your hands on your permits. If this baboon (no insult to baboons intended) doesn't give you YOUR permits, you can always easily attain them at the city. Those permits are YOURS!

    I know I had suggested sitting down and talking to him earlier, but after reading some of the nonsense you've gone through, I doubt you will get any place with him. It's important for you to understand that the issues are with HIM not you, regardless of what he says or how he makes you feel.

    You need to talk to a few different contractors (with great customer reviews) and have them come in and assess how much it will cost for them to take over the job. I don't think many contractors will be really excited about picking up on some one else's mistakes, but there are a few that will.

    Once you get bids for the remainder work, as well as current work needing to be redone, take that to the lawyer and have them draft a 'legal' letter for you and certify mail it to him (signature required).

    I've had contractors/workers complain when on the job, and I just send them packing. I really am not interested in giving business - no matter how big or small - to someone who is going to complain though the whole process, OR use the blame game (as has been in your case).

    Remodeling is already a very very stressful situation. You don't need any added stress on top of it.

    To the person above who assumed this is a 200-300K job for which Jane just picked the cheapest contractor at 100K, and etc. PLEASE stay focused on the OP question and try to assist in lieu of making assumptions or judgements. That's really not necessary!

    Jane - please keep us posted.

    Jane Whitaker thanked Jora
  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Jane if you want leave me your email on my profile page and I will give you an attorney in your area who handles construction cases. He is very good and he can give you a sound advice.


    Good luck

    Jane Whitaker thanked GN Builders L.L.C
  • Jane Whitaker

    ok I know you are all probably hanging on the edge of your seats to hear the next chapter so here it goes...

    Jensen Vasil. our architect was again spot on with his advice despite all you doubters. you can fire your contractor any time you want at least in Hoboken. we officially reported it to city hall. based on his advice we cancelled the almost 10k ck to the contractor and called the plumber and electrician on record with the city to see if the contractor had paid them. he told us that a lot of subcontractors are more than happy to help you finish their end of the work not only to save their reputation but the city does not like to see construction jobs delayed for many reasons. both parties were more than happy to speak with us (which was a fantastic surprise) and although the electrician said he was not owed anything, the plumber had not been paid a cent. the contractor told us he had been paid in full. so yay for us. FYI if your subcontractors are not paid by the contractor you are responsible for paying them and they can put a lien of your home. so if your contractor takes the money and doesn't pay them your screwed. I do not know if the electrician was paid for the whole job yet, just that the contractor didn't owe him money at this time. additionally, the contractor was having his handyman do the plumbing. in my opinion I think he was going to let them finish the job and keep the money not sure but sure seems shady to me.


    in addition I called our lawyer which I really didn't want to do and he is coming to our home on Friday to do a walk through and help us assess if we owe the contractor any money based on our expenses and the work that was completed to date. FYI the job is not near completion.. my family has no bathroom (basically the bathroom has to be redone completely from what they did and I paid for all the materials) or kitchen for 3 weeks now. we are showering at neighbors and eating out its costly and humiliating. he is going to generate a separation letter with a bank ck if there is any money still owed to the contractor.


    and lastly.....and bestly…..the contractors supposed wood shop guy called us and is begging us to reconsider at whatever cost to them to let them complete the job......we agreed to let him and only him come and do a walk through to see the shoddy and sub par work that they keep increasing the cost on....more tomorrow peace....its worth a fight if you are right.

  • Jane Whitaker

    fyi we rented and apartment in Hoboken which was a miracle in itself. cost a lot of money for 6 weeks while no one was here working. then we went to a hotel for another week for more money and had to board our cat for more lots of money. so the reno is going on 9 weeks my bathroom is like 6 x 6 and we realized hes charging over 40sf for tile installation. the going rate is 10-12 for straight walls with customer purchasing tile and 15-20 for more intricate installation..as told to us by standard tile route 46 in new jersey..they are great by the way

  • Jane Whitaker

    yes we use Hudson property management we are also condo president

  • Jane Whitaker

    just want to say thank you to everyone I feel so much better just doing this. I was scared to do this and I could have lost a lot of money by chickening out and letting him treat us this way. I told the guy from the place we hired (which im dying to tell you the name of) my since I fired you my stress level has gone down 75% so I made the right decision. the whole time they were here I just had that bad feeling so listen to it people.....

  • bry911

    our architect was again spot on with his advice despite all you doubters. you can fire your contractor any time you want at least in Hoboken.

    You can fire a contractor anytime you want in the entire U.S. It is your property, the law is not going to force you into keeping a bad contractor. In fact, you can fire your contractor anytime you want in most of the world, I have at least considered it on three different Continents.

    However, just because you can fire a contractor, doesn't mean that you aren't in breach. In your case, you have significant evidence of effective breach by the contractor. However, that is not always the case. In New Jersey there are several consumer protection laws that can aid homeowners, but unjust enrichment still applies.

    In a best case scenario you prove that the work was not completed in a workman like manner and he pays you. In the common scenario you pay something for work completed and possibly some small penalty and move on. Sometimes though, the penalty can be as high as all work performed, materials ordered, and his entire overhead and profit for the job.

    ----

    I assure you that the law in Hoboken doesn't let you simply decide not to pay a contractor a reasonable amount just because you want to fire him. Again, this might not apply in your situation as you are apparently firing him with cause. That cause being that his work has breached the contract already.

  • Jane Whitaker

    nobody said I wasn't going to pay him and I have paid him more than he deserves. whats your problem are you a crappy contractor too?

  • remodeling1840

    Jane, bry911 just seemed to want all the people following your massive problem that the LAW varies from state to state, county to county and city to city so that others in your horrible situation don’t make matters worse by doing something that exposes them to legal action. Many times, the worse the contractor, the more he wants to sue his clients—or worse. The drywall installers threatened me with physical harm when we had a dispute! I am glad your lawyer is coming. Be sure to take lots of pictures before any more work is done at your house. I’m sorry this process has been such a nightmare for you and your family.

    Jane Whitaker thanked remodeling1840
  • bry911

    nobody said I wasn't going to pay him and I have paid him more than he deserves. whats your problem are you a crappy contractor too?

    No, but I did go to law school.

    Using only your description, it certainly sounds like you have a reasonable basis to terminate the contract. However, I believe some of your statements are a bit misleading. Saying, "in Hoboken you can fire your contractor anytime you want without incident," is not correct. Most people consider getting embroiled in a legal action, which possibly includes paying a contractor's overhead, profit and legal fees (something that may be much more than the original contract), an "incident."

    Were you the only person in Hoboken, or this a conversation between friends, I wouldn't feel the need to clarify. That isn't the case, I am afraid someone in Hoboken is going to read your statement and your account of its affirmation, and go off and fire a contractor without cause and end up costing themselves a fortune.

    Many people believe if you end a relationship with a contractor you owe him the fair value of the work he performed. That is usually true when he breaches, however, if you breach the standard position of the courts (for most contacts in every U.S. state) is that you owe him for any hole you create in his schedule. The idea being had he not taken your job, he would have scheduled other work. This is why who breaches is so important.

    Realistically, sometimes breaches are so egregious that you can end the relationship right there with little worry of legal penalty or action. Other times breach is questionable and you need to demand correction within a reasonable time before you claim he breached. Sometimes you may have to bite the bullet and breach.

    My position is to advocate for the poster, so I am on your side. However, that doesn't necessarily mean I am telling you what you want to hear. I try to give realistic advice, the truth about right and wrong is that they are rarely economical, usually the smarter move is to forget who is in the right and work towards resolution. That may mean paying some small amount to a contractor to get him gone even though he doesn't deserve it. A release removes a lot of potential headaches.

    N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-1 doesn't simply refer to subcontractors. Your G.C. can file a construction lien also and can perfect it in the same way a subcontractor can. Firing your G.C. and then paying the subs doesn't remove the threat of a construction lien. Although, if your description is accurate I doubt the contractor will sue for perfection, but that guess is specific to your situation.

    Good luck to you, I do hope everything works out for you. I suspect it will with an attorney involved.

  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK

    Jane,

    Call HPM and ask specifically for "Marc" to come over and take a look at your unit and give a suggestion if you're up to it. Even if just for an estimate. (Or you may need to open a ticket)

    Marc may be able to help you get this project over the finish line. Very well connected.

  • GreenDesigns

    I have real doubts about the entire bathroom construction if a tiler was only charging $40 a square foot for a wet area. That means that he’s likely not doing it correctly. As in, improper, or no, waterproofing. Hardi isn’t waterproof. Tile and grout are not waterproof.

    https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/homeowners-guide-to-hiring-qualified-tile-installer

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    Jane, I am so glad to hear that you have taken action! Good moves so far.

    Please don't ignore the advice Bry911 gives -- you will probably hear the pretty much the same from your attorney -- your moves have to be carefully planned and the reasons well documented to protect yourself from scum like your contractor - who could very well try to sue you!

    I am hoping that you can come up with the evidence about the thefts of materials. Also, if any workmen have been in the condo while any of your belongings were there, check carefully to be sure nothing is missing.

  • Jora

    bry911 - Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I, personally, greatly appreciate the detailed info. you provided.

    It's def. important information to remember should there be a need, as I always thought that if the GC/Contractor is paid in full for the work they had completed to date, there would. be no 'legal' issues if you had to part ways for one reason or another.

    Thank you again!

  • Jane Whitaker

    thanks GN builders wish I hired you

  • Jane Whitaker

    thank you Janie - yes we know mark well .. we will keep that in mind we got a great referral for another contractor from a most reliable source as well.

  • Jane Whitaker

    btw our bathroom needs to be completely redone...all the installation has to come off and redone. now they tell us its because of the tile we chose. it looks like my 5yo grandson installed it its hilarious. the contractor wants 1300 more from me for this. unbelievable ….

  • millworkman

    "the contractor wants 1300 more from me for this. unbelievable …."


    I thought you fired him?

  • Jane Whitaker

    he was trying to talk us into keeping him on the job

  • Jane Whitaker

    2 more days wasted...he added 9k in extras we just found out about that he never discussed with us and never even started the work.

  • Jane Whitaker

    well he asked me for personal checks made out to him all less than 10k so I doubt hes going to pursue legal action...hes very shady...he said he paid the plumber but he didn't pay him a cent. probably why he never came to finish work. then the plumber could've come after us for his payment too.

  • Jane Whitaker

    need a new GC ASAP.....HELP

  • Jane Whitaker

    our lawyer is coming over Monday to see the condition of our apartment.

  • Jane Whitaker

    now my grandson is sick...he got pink eye from all the dirt here and no bathroom. we have been bathing at friends places and staying at hotels but we have had to skip days and hes an active 5yo boy. they get dirty....

  • katinparadise

    following

  • NYCish

    @jane Whitaker take a look at mex construction or brinton brosius. I’m in Hoboken also. So sorry you had to go through this. Molfetta for electrical. Glad Jensen was able to help you out.

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